Spectacle and Speculations: Can the Attacks in Kenya Provide a Lesson for Iraq?

The Africa Collective

More sad news from Kenya. Over sixty people have been killed in two recent attacks by armed gunmen in the coastal town of Mpeketoni.

This is the latest in a spate of attacks in the country since Kenya invaded Somalia in late 2011. (The most notorious and widely covered was the attack on the up-scale, Westgate Mall in Nairobi on September 21, 2013). And, much like Westgate, the tragic attacks have already become the subject of so much speculation and spectacle that they are difficult to make sense of.

Different narratives circulate on the streets of Nairobi, in the mainstream media outlets, on the twitter accounts of al-Shabaab (AS), and at the press conferences of Kenya’s leaders. Although Al-Shabaab has supposedly taken responsibility for the events at Mpeketoni—which it said was retaliation for Kenya’s ongoing troop presence in the country and the extra-judicial killings of Muslim clerics in Mombasa—Uhuru…

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