Kenyan Minnesotans affected by Nairobi attack

Members of Minnesota’s Kenyan-American community gathered in the Capitol rotunda on the morning of Wednesday, September 25, to condemn the recent terrorist attack at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall.  Pastor Zipporah Bogonko opened the press conference, saying, “On behalf of Kenyans in Minnesota and our many American friends, we come together today to condemn in the strongest possible terms, the act of terror perpetrated on innocent Kenyans and other citizens of multiple countries at the Westgate Mall.”

Even in the wake of the tragedy, which left 67 people dead and many more injured, the message from the Kenyan community was one of solidarity and kindness.  “We will not retaliate with hate and retribution but extend our love and hospitality – that is who we are as a people,” Bogonko continued.  Although the Al-Shabab terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Mshale editor Tom Gitaa, noted that, “Our Somali brothers and sisters came out and condemned the act…I’m confident that we will continue being good friends and neighbors to the Somali people.”

Although the attack occurred in Nairobi, Kenya, its effects are felt by those living in Minnesota.  Kihanya Mwaura, a Kenyan Minnesotan at the event,  lost a family member in the attack.  There will be a prayer service on Saturday, September 28 at 5801 John Martin Drive, Brooklyn Center.  The service begins at 5 PM and all proceeds from the evening will go towards those affected by the attack.

This is one of a number of articles produced by student interns at the TC Daily Planet.

Related story:  Somali youth speak out against al-Shabab recruiting

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Veronica Schwenn's picture
Veronica Schwenn

Veronica Schwenn (schwe428 [at] umn [dot] edu) is an intern for the Twin Cities Daily Planet.