Anti-KDF & Pro-Westgate demonstrations in Barawe
Barawe (Harar24) – Thousands of people took part in a protest this morning today in the city of Barawe to show their discontent with the invasion of Kenyan forces in Somalia and to show their support for the Westgate mall attack.
Elders, religious scholars and tribal leaders were amongst those who attended the rally. The protest happened in the morning and was held in a large open area. Placards reading “no to occupation” & “Kenya will pay for every Muslim killed in Kismayo” were held up and pro-Westgate attack slogans were chanted. A leading elder rallying the people shouted over the microphone “do we want Kenyan occupiers here?” the public present screamed “No” in unison. “Kenya, leave us alone and we’ll leave you alone” he said further.
Kenya who now fights as part of the AMISOM, invaded Somalia in 2011 with the intention of weakening Al-Shabaab. Ever since invading Somalia, Kenya has suffered attacks by Al-Shabaab, but none were as large scale as Westgate’s.
Notable figures who attend included religious figures Sheikh Jama Abdisalam, Sheikh Abdullah Rabi and the Al-Shabaab leader of the area Abu Abdullah.
Our correspondent asked one of the attendees as to why he was there, which he responded to: “I’m here to show my anger at the presence of Kenya in my country. I do not believe they are after Al-Shabaab, no, they are just after the riches of our country and to divide it up along with Ethiopia!”
The protest comes almost three weeks after the Westgate mall attack in Nairobi which saw the killing of over 60 people. Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack and threatened of further attacks if Kenya did not pull its troops out of Somalia.