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This morning’s horrific attack on a Kenyan university college by masked gunmen highlights the urgent need for the protection of students, college staff and other ordinary people in Garissa and other areas in the north of the country, said Amnesty International today. The organisation is also calling for the authorities to conduct a prompt, impartial and effective investigation to bring the perpetrators to justice. 
 
Garissa University College, a constituent college of Moi University, is located in northern Kenya, a part of the country known to be vulnerable to Al Shabaab attacks.
 
“We urge the Government of Kenya to act decisively and within the Constitution and the law to ensure protection for those under or at risk of attack in Garissa and other areas of the north,” said Muthoni Wanyeki, Amnesty International’s Regional Director for East Africa, the Horn and the Great Lakes.
 
“Citizens and public servants in the north have repeatedly expressed fears about their vulnerability to Al Shabaab attacks which the Kenyan government has failed to appropriately address. Learning institutions are meant to be safe places for students and their teachers. Their protection must be fully guaranteed.”
 
According to the Kenya Red Cross, so far, the attack has resulted in 65 casualties including an unspecified number of students and residents. Five casualties have been airlifted to Nairobi for treatment.  Additional people are believed to be missing and are presumed kidnapped.  
 
Both the local and International media have reported the armed group Al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the attack.
 
Amnesty International emphasizes the Kenyan government’s responsibility to guarantee the human rights of all its citizens within the boundaries of the Constitution and the law.
 
“It is the government’s responsibility to guarantee the security of all its citizens, including those in the north—and to do everything legally in their power to prevent such attacks from taking place at all.”