POST-ROGO VIOLENCE: The Questions Are Worrying

Yesterday, a man who is not new to the front pages drew his last when unknown people sprayed his car with bullets. Aboud Rogo Mohammed. The death of this rather controversial man triggered off what in the start seemed as public reaction to an ‘unfair execution’ carried out in broad daylight. Image

The Kenyan coastal town of Mombasa famous for its beaches in just a few seconds slid into moments of chaotic scenes. The up and down action left one person dead, roads barricaded and noticeably, some churches set alight. Now it is there that my eyes cringe a little more. 

A man who at one point termed the killings by radical Muslims in Garissa as ‘glorious’ and has been linked to the Al Shabaab dies and violence with a religious angle to it breaks out?

In the past few days, Kenya’s Tana River area has made world headlines thanks to the Pokomo-Ormo ethnic clashes (that portray how few resources versus big populations is a deadly bomb) left over 50 people dead many women and children. Barely a month later, some less known but evidently influential man dies and protesters burn churches.

The world is silently holding its breathe as the clock ticks towards the general elections in East Africa’s biggest economy. But now these two events are raising the already simmering tension. One can’t help but draw back to the events witnessed during the 2007-2008 post-election violence.

Back to Rogo.

Much as the death of any man is not a reason to dance, the manner in which those that mourn him react to his death says a lot about the dead man and about the mourners.

In this case, mourners that stage what I want to call ‘sympathetic’ attacks over the death of a man who rarely shied away from telling the world who he supported leave many questions. Unless the people rioting share the same sentiments with Rogo, I don’t see any justification for their actions which as I mentioned include attacks on churches.

No one has come out and linked the church to the assassination. Then why are churches being attacked? If the radical ‘Muslim’ groups such as al-Shabaab and Boko Haram say they want to create Islamic states, are these brave youths being fueled by some of these groups and does Kenya have a reason to worry therefore? The actions portray a society that perhaps has fallen into the radicalising hands of these men that use religion to fuel heartless actions.

Is East Africa ready for such infiltration that targets the youth who actually make up much of the crowd on the Mombasa streets? So many questions.

While normalcy continues to evade peaceful Mombasa for now, post-Rogo chaos is impacting on the economy especially the tourism picture of Kenya.

What’s more ironic is that Rogo who has been on US & UN sanctions lists is said to have planned attacks on Mombasa itself. And now people are rioting? He called the massacre in Garissa earlier this year, ‘glorious’. And people are rioting over his death? Why? Who are these people and why are they mourning in this rather ferocious manner that seems exaggerated if you asked me? I don’t get it. 

 Follow @SongaStone


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