We must eternally be alert to ward off terror attacks.
By EDITORIALIt is three years since the heinous attack on Garissa University College by Al-Shabaab militants, killing some 142 students and leaving tens of others injured and traumatised. Looking back today, we are encouraged by the solidarity among Kenyans amidst adversity and the fighting spirit that has kept us united and glued together as a nation and a people.
Kenya has witnessed horrific terror attacks in the past two decades, starting with the 1998 simultaneous bombings of US embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam, to the Westgate attack in Nairobi in 2013 and Garissa raid three years ago. Part of the objective is to inflict pain on Kenyans because of perceived ties with the West, who are endemic targets of the terrorists.
The attacks are also intended to create a wedge between the various faiths and, in turn, foment chaos and instability. But we have rejected those designs.
Even so, we recognise that the pain and anguish visited by the attack take long to heal. Students who survived the gory ordeal in the hands of the heartless terrorists are yet to recover entirely from the nightmare.
COUNSELLINGAt the institutional level, students reveal serious lapses in providing emotional, physical and resource support to the victims.Counselling programmes started at the height of the mayhem may have helped to cool nerves but they were not sustained.
So many students are still smarting from the after-effects of the raid and clearly it will take them rather long to get over that horrendous experience.At least some good came out of such evil acts.
RESILIENCEGarissa University College has since been upgraded to a full-fledged institution of higher learning to underline the fact that Kenyans are audacious and daring and cannot be derailed by evildoers. They are unrelenting in their push for peaceful co-existence.
Security at Garissa University and other learning institutions has been beefed up.VIGILANTbrHowever, the point that has to be repeatedly made is that the militants are not slowing down in any way.
On the contrary, they are seeking to gather as much information as they can and use that to plan and execute more nefarious acts. It is for this reason that we have to be alert and eternally intensify surveillance to rebuff any such tragic episodes.
We commend the authorities for what has been done so far but call for more urgent actions to help the students and entire staff of Garissa University to get their balance back and soldier on.Importantly, however, we must be constantly alert and jealously guard against potential future attacks.