First Wednesday: Kenya’s fight against al-Shabaab

Talk Wednesday 2 October 2013, 7:00 PM

On 21 September┬áSomali insurgent group al-Shabaab launched a devastating attack on a shopping centre in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi.┬áThe confirmed death toll after the three-day siege is 61 civilians, six security officers and five militants, 61 people are still believed to be missing.

Kenya’s president Uhuru Kenyatta has reacted by saying: “We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get them. We shall punish them for this heinous crime.”

For October’s First Wednesday we will be joined by a panel of experts and journalists to discuss how the Kenyan government will respond and what the implications will be for the region. We will be examining the threat posed by al-Shabaab in the neighbouring countries and further afield, and exploring their origins and motivations.

Chaired by BBC Africa Editor, Solomon Mugera.

The panel:

Mary Harper is the Africa Editor at the BBC World Service and author of Getting Somalia Wrong? Faith, War and Hope in a Shattered State. She has reported on Africa for the past 20 years, and has a special interest in Somalia. She reports frequently from the country, covering conflict, piracy, Islamism and other subjects.

Hamza Mohamed is an independent British-Somali journalist who has been based in Mogadishu, Somalia for the past year and a half. He is currently working with Al Jazeera English and was previously a BBC journalist.

Jamal Osman is a multi-award winning journalist and filmmaker specialising sub-Saharan Africa. He has been working with ITN/Channel 4 News since 2008.

Ben Rawlence is an Open Society Fellow working on a book about the lives of Somali refugees in Kenya. Previously he was a senior researcher on the Horn of Africa for Human Rights Watch. He is the author of Radio Congo: Signals of Hope from Africa’s Deadliest War.