Posted at: 09/22/2013 2:54 PM
| Updated at: 09/23/2013 9:52 AM
By: Dan Bazile
It's day two in a stand off between authorities in Kenya and Islamic militants who are holding an unknown number of hostages in a mall.
Back here in the Capital Region, local Kenyans are reacting to the terrorist attack. WNYT spoke to 20-year-old Hesbon Ogeka, a college student from Kenya who calls the violence senseless.
He's heartbroken after learning there was a terrorist attack in his home country of Kenya where dozens of people were killed.
“I couldn't focus at work. I was like, this is it. I don't know what we're going to do next,” says the Southern Vermont College student.
Ogeka was naturally worried about his family back home. Many of them are here in the United States, but he has uncles, aunts and cousin who he said could have easily been in the path of the attackers at the Nairobi mall. He says thankfully they're safe, at least for now.
“I did talk to my cousin last night. He told me the cops are still on a mission to rescue people,” he says.
Ogeka hasn’t been home in four years. He's a third year student studying business at Southern Vermont College in Bennington. He says he was there 15 years ago when the American Embassy in Kenya was bombed. Most of the focus has been on Somalia's al Qaeda linked group Al-Shabab.
“The moment I heard the news, I knew the same people who caused the bombing at the American Embassy in Kenya in 1998. I was like they're the same people,” says Ogeka.
Al-Shabab is claiming responsibility. For Ogeka, the violence makes no sense at all, whatever the rebel believes may be reason enough for the attacks.
“Those are people killing people. How do you negotiate with them? Just let them do what they can do to rescue people from hostage,” he says.
For now, he fells helpless. But he plans to take his education back home and run for political office and perhaps make a difference.