Somalis in Kenya living in fear of xenophobic attacks as Kenyan troops battle Somali militants
By Associated Press, Published: November 11
NAIROBI, Kenya — The streets of Nairobi’s Somali community are no longer congested. A once-bustling trade in cheap imports is quiet, and the nightlife is almost dead. Many Somalis are staying inside out of fear of xenophobic attacks and police arrests.
Kenyan troops last month moved into southern Somalia in pursuit of al-Shabab militants. Those militants, in return, threatened to retaliate with large-scale terror attacks in Nairobi. Ethnic Somalis — many of them Kenyan citizens — who live in Nairobi feel caught in the middle.
“There is that feeling of fear. There is fear of an outbreak of xenophobia if a large-scale event takes place, so we are like this — maybe the lull before the storm,” said Salah Abdi Sheikh, a Kenyan-Somali who wrote a book on the 1984 massacre of possibly thousands of Somali men by Kenyan government troops.