Tensions had been growing for weeks at Jamhuri High School in northern Nairobi due to the complaints of the Muslim students – primarily of Somali, Boran and Oromo descent – complaining of discrimination. Due to the increasing hostilities, the boarding school had allegedly designated separate bathrooms and sections in the library to accommodate both the Christian and Muslim students.
The conflict came to a head that night in January when some of the militant Muslim youth began speaking in defamatory terms and tried to force students of the Christian faith to recite the Islamic creed for conversion and undergo cleansing rituals. This led to a brutal attack in which knives and machetes had been used against the Christian students, weapons that reportedly came from outside the school.
At least 35 of the school’s 1500 students were injured – including some perpetrators who were hurt when the students under attack tried to defend themselves. Several of those who were targeted required hospital treatment for stab wounds and dislocated bones. The school principal, Fred Awuor, was also reportedly injured in the attack and needed hospital treatment.
Since the attack, the school has been closed indefinitely while police further investigate the incident.
Sources: Morning Star News, The Christian Post