The American Friends Service Committee offers our condolences to all those who lost loved ones and are affected by the violence at Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Official reports of deaths and injuries indicate that dozens of people have been killed and many more have been injured, and the number continues to escalate. We call on everyone to join us as we continue to pray and work for peace in Somalia, Kenya and in the U.S. and around the world.

As security throughout Kenya tightens in the aftermath of this tragedy, AFSC urges all groups and officials to act with restraint and respect for the rule of law, and resist any calls for retaliation. We know that peace in the face of provocation is not only possible, but practical.

Working with young people in Somalia and Kenya, we have witnessed how youth can harness their creativity and energy to nurture themselves and their communities. With local partners and using simple local initiatives, we help these youth acquire life and technical skills that they use to generate income, building futures for themselves and their families. Their successes, despite many challenges and complexities, are proof of the power of nonviolence.      

In our work around the world, we have seen how communities can heal and recover after tragedy when they commit to talking, listening, and working together for lasting peace. We pray those lessons are harnessed in Kenya as the country seeks to recover from the Westgate attacks.