News / Africa

    African Union Ready to Assist Kenya after Terror Attack

    Onlookers observe from an overlooking hill as a plume of black smoke billows over the Westgate Mall, following large explosions and heavy gunfire, in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 23, 2013.
    Onlookers observe from an overlooking hill as a plume of black smoke billows over the Westgate Mall, following large explosions and heavy gunfire, in Nairobi, Kenya, Sept. 23, 2013.
    Peter Clottey
    The African Union (AU) is working with its international partners to assist Kenya following the weekend terrorist attack on the East African nation, says Erastus Mwencha, deputy chairman of the African Union Commission.

    “We stand with the people of Kenya during this trying moment.  We have sent our condolences to the families and we hailed the government of Kenya in the manner in which they’ve handled the crisis,” said Mwencha. “We’ve indicated our resolve to continue to fight terrorism in whatever form it exists.  We are also aware that this is a global menace and we need to act together as the international community to fight the scourge.”

    Mwencha says the AU is ready to assist Kenya following the attack that has left scores wounded and many dead.

    “For now, we wait to see [if] the Kenya authorities give us [an] assessment of the extent of the needs, and the African Union will then respond accordingly,” said Mwencha.  “But, we are also encouraged to see that a number of member states have already given their support and willing to assist Kenya.”

    Heads of state and government plan to meet in an extraordinary summit in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa, on October 13.  The leaders are expected to discuss pulling out support for the International Criminal Court (ICC) due to the trial of Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto.  President Uhuru Kenyatta’s trial is also scheduled to begin in November.  The ICC has charged both leaders in playing a key role in Kenya’s 2007-2008 post-election violence.

    Some observers say combating terrorism on the continent could also be high on the agenda of the AU summit, following the Westgate Shopping Mall terrorist attack in Nairobi.

    Mwencha says terrorism is a global menace which requires international cooperation to combat.

    “We can only work together with the international community to share information to fight it, and we are encouraged to see the response of the international community to the Kenya crisis.  Several leaders and ordinary citizens have indicated that they stand ready to continue to fight on,” said Mwencha.

    The Somali-based hard line Islamic group al-Shabab has claimed responsibility for the shopping mall attack.  The group said the attack was in response to Kenya’s military action in neighboring Somalia.  But, Mwencha said the fight against terrorism will not be discontinued in spite of the attack.

    “Of course, today its Kenya, tomorrow it would be elsewhere, so we must continue to fight, and that is why the need for international cooperation is absolutely important,” said Mwencha.
    Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairman
    Clottey interview with Erastus Mwencha, AU deputy chairmani
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: Erastus
    September 23, 2013 11:43 PM
    Sorry, this statement is too little too late. Why specialized units were not requested from other countries who have the expertise in hindsight, was a costly mistake. One simply cannot put in combat troops. Obviously it wil be to Kenya's advantage to have their own specialized units but this requires finance and outside help with the formation and training.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.