'Extremism thrives on hopelessness,' says CAFOD's Kenya leader after Nairobi terrorist attack

(Photo: Reuters)Red Cross workers help to evacuate people from the DusitD2 hotel and office complex in Nairobi

After Tuesday's tragic terror attack in Nairobi, Kenya, CAFOD's country representative says the need now is to work for peace and give people a vision of hope.

At least 14 people were killed when gunmen stormed the DusitD2 hotel in the Westland's District of the Kenyan capital. 

The Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the attack.  It is the same group that attacked Nairobi's Westgate Mall in 2013, killing 67 people.

CAFOD's Country Representative, Catherine Ogolla said that although Tuesday's attack was horrifying and worrying, it must not be allowed to divide the country.

She said that Kenya must instead work for peace and social cohesion.

'What terrorists of any type want is to divide communities and sow violence, so all peoples must stand together for peace and unity in this time of trouble, sending the message out that any form of violent terror will not succeed; will not divide the Kenyan nation,' she said. 

'The Kenyan people need a sustained commitment to peace, we cannot allow these events to derail that. Most of all we know that extremism thrives on hopelessness so above all we must continue to work together to offer hope for a brighter future to all the peoples of Kenya.

'Our thoughts and prayers are with the people affected by this horrific attack.'

The UK Foreign Office has confirmed that one Briton was among the fatalities in the attack.  An American citizen also killed has been named as businessman Jason Spindler, a survivor of 9/11. 

According to AP, a group of local Muslims has issued a statement condemning the attack, which they said was 'immoral and inconsistent with any human values'.

They appealed to Kenyans to stay calm and united and to 'shun the desperate attempts by some misguided elements to divide the country along religious and ethnic lines'.