Kenya: Three convicted over Garissa University attack

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A court in Kenya has found three men guilty of abetting al-Shabaab militants who carried out the Garissa University attack that killed 148 people in 2015.

The three men now face life in prison and will be sentenced on July 3, making them the first people to be held accountable for the deadly siege. Judge Francis Andayi on Wednesday said prosecutors had proven “beyond reasonable doubt” that the three men were all involved in the attack.

‘Members of al-Shabaab’

The attack on Garissa University was carried out by four al-Shabaab gunmen on April 2, 2015. The militants stormed the student halls in the early hours of daylight and shot people indiscriminately. The gunmen later released a number of Muslim students from the siege and killed more students who were identified as Christians.

According to witness accounts, students were forced to recite the shahada – the first of five pillars of the Islamic faith – and shot those who could not.

The four gunmen killed a total of 147 people – most of whom were students – before they themselves were shot dead by security forces.

However, the gunmen didn’t orchestrate the attack alone and now Kenya can finally deliver justice against some of those involved. Kenyans Mohamed Ali Abikar, Hassan Aden Hassan and Rashid Charles Mberesero were all convicted on Wednesday with Judge Francis Andayi ruling the three men “were members of the al-Shabab terrorist group whose members carried out the attack”.

The court in Nairobi acquitted a fourth person, Sahal Diriye Hussein, and a fifth person was acquitted earlier this year.

Featured image: By Adam H T Geelle, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=60532946

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.