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Terrorism and Violence in Kenya: Balancing a Global vs Local View?

By Matt Carotenuto, St. Lawrence University

On April 2, 2015 much of the world was reminded of unfortunate but now familiar tropes in viewing the East African nation of Kenya through themes of political violence and the “global war on terror.” In a brazen pre-dawn raid at Garissa University College in Northeastern Kenya, Somali based Al Shabaab militants killed 147 people. Most of victims were students. As Kenya grapples with challenges of insecurity in the porous Somali borderland, many questions about this specific attack are left unanswered. However, searching for quick answers to these heinous acts of violence often leads to incomplete and misplaced conclusions which have a detrimental impact on efforts to address the underlying roots of insecurity and violence.

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