"At least nine dead and, according to news still not confirmed, some women and children were abducted last night in the assault perpetrated by a group of men in the village of Majembeni on the coast of Kenya, near the island of Lamu." So said Catholic Bishop Emanuel Barbara of Malindi, Kenya. Bishop Barbara, who also serves the city of Mombasa in the East African nation, confirmed that armed terrorists abducted an as yet undetermined number of his fellow Kenyans. This latest assault follows the deadly June 15 attack in the nearby town of Mpeketoni where Somalian Muslim raiders burned homes and businesses and killed Christians. In that instance, anyone who professed Christian faith or could not speak the Somalian language to the satisfaction of the thugs was murdered.
Speaking on June 18, Bishop Barbara said that the raiders came out of the nearby forests, while the people of Mpeketoni have set up roadblocks to prevent the entry of the residents of Lamu, a neighboring settlement. The people of Lamu are composed largely of Bajuni: an ethnic group comprised of Arab and African ancestry living on the coast. The bishop recalled, “Let us remember that in 2007-2008 political violence caused thousands of deaths. My fear is that these attacks could stoke ethnic hatred even in other parts of Kenya."
Somalia’s al- Shabaab Muslim terrorist organization has claimed responsibility for the attacks on Majembeni and Mpeketoni. "The claim of the Shabaab introduces a new element", said Bishop Barbara. "They justify the attacks not only by for the presence of Kenyan troops in Somalia, but also to avenge the imams who were killed recently in Kenya. It is a claim already advanced by the Kenyan radical Islamists."
"Several radical imams were killed in mysterious circumstances on the Kenyan coast. According to public opinion, these murders have been commissioned either by the government or by local merchants, who see these preachers as a threat to tourism and therefore their business," explained Bishop Barbara. "It should be added that even some moderate imams were killed by radical Islamists.”
"The situation is so complex and it takes very little to create disorder and destruction. We continue to pray because the conversion of the heart is not easy," concluded Bishop Barbara.



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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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