Ten years have passed since the tragic Westgate Mall attack in Nairobi, Kenya, perpetrated by Somali al-Shabab militants. On September 21, 2013, the world watched in horror as innocent lives were lost, and a sense of security shattered. Kenyans gathered to remember the victims and to celebrate their nation’s resilience in the face of adversity.
During the attack, a four-man militant team stormed the upscale Westgate shopping mall, causing chaos and death. A four-day siege followed, with Kenyan security forces working tirelessly to regain control. Tragically, 67 lives were lost, and over 150 people were injured.
Jeremy Van Tongeren, Chairman of the Kenya Security Industry Association, spoke at the commemoration, highlighting the nation’s strength in the aftermath of the senseless violence. However, the scars of that day remain for many, as one survivor expressed, “I still have that flashback.”
The attack was a retaliatory act by Al-Shabaab against Kenya’s military intervention in southern Somalia in 2011. To date, only two individuals have been convicted in connection with the atrocity, receiving prison sentences of 33 and 18 years, respectively.