News / Africa

    Kenyan President Urges Unity After University Massacre

    A woman at the Chiromo funeral home in Nairobi cries after she viewed the body of a relative killed in Thursday's attack on a Kenyan university, April 4, 2015.
    A woman at the Chiromo funeral home in Nairobi cries after she viewed the body of a relative killed in Thursday's attack on a Kenyan university, April 4, 2015.
    VOA News

    Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta called for unity Saturday, two days after al-Shabab militants massacred 148 people on a university campus, targeting mostly Christians.

    In a televised address to the nation, Kenyatta declared a three-day mourning period, appealing to Kenyans to safeguard the nation's "peace and stability."

    "I urge every Kenyan, every church and every local leader to speak up for our unity and ensure that our justified anger does not spill over and lead to the victimization of anyone," he said. "This would only play into the hands of the terrorists."

    Kenyatta stressed his belief that "Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance" and said “the radicalization that breeds terrorism” is conducted “in the full glare of day.”

    He said the government must have information and cooperation from the parents and families of those who are being radicalized, as well as from political and religious leaders, in order to effectively combat the terrorists.

    Thursday's slaughter at Garissa University College was Kenya's deadliest terrorist attack since al-Qaida's 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi. That attack killed more than 200 people, mostly Kenyans.

    Kenyatta promised the government would "employ all means" to bring the Islamist militants behind the university murders to justice. He said security forces were pursuing leads on the remaining accomplices and the mastermind of the attack.

    Kenyatta said five of the accused terrorists had been arrested, while security forces killed four. Kenyan officials said some of the suspects arrested were trying to flee to neighboring Somalia, where al-Shabab is based.

    Kenyans gathered Saturday to see the bodies of the dead gunmen, who Interior Minister Joseph Nkaissery said blew up "like bombs" when police shot them. VOA's reporter said police put the bodies in an open truck that drove around the streets.

    Other families continued to learn of their losses in the attack, viewing the bodies of their loved ones in a mortuary.

    Threat of 'another bloodbath'

    An al-Shabab statement Saturday threatened "another bloodbath" in Kenya, warning, "No amount of precaution or safety measures will be able to guarantee your safety." The group said Thursday's attack was revenge for Kenyan military action inside Somalia.

    The attackers stormed the university campus before dawn Thursday and began shooting indiscriminately. Witnesses said the gunmen later targeted Christians and freed some Muslims.

    Kenyan security forces battled the militants for 15 hours and rescued more than 500 students before fatally shooting the attackers.

    A Kenyan member of parliament, Mohamed Dahiye Duale, told VOA's Somali service that the attackers had traveled from Dadab refugee camp to Garisa in a taxi before storming the university campus.

    U.S. President Barack Obama, whose father was from Kenya, expressed "horror and sadness" over the attack. The White House said Obama reiterated his plans to visit Nairobi in July.

    The Kenyan government is offering a $220,000 reward for an al-Shabab member thought to be behind the attacks. Mohammed Mohamud Kuno is already on a government watch list. He is suspected of being al-Shabab's chief for external operations against Kenya.

    The al-Qaida-linked group has battled the Somali government and its allies since 2006. It has attacked targets in Kenya since Nairobi sent troops across the border in 2011.  

    In 2013, al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the massacre in Nairobi's Westgate Mall that killed more than 60 people.

    The University of Nairobi warned its students last week that Kenyan government agencies had intelligence reports indicating al-Shabab was planning an attack on a major university, among other targets. It was not clear if a similar warning was issued in Garissa.

    Another survivor emerges

    The Kenyan Red Cross reported finding a female survivor of the massacre on Saturday at the college. Cynthia Charotich, 19, told The Associated Press she'd remained hidden in a closet crawl space for two days, fearing attackers might still be lurking.

    "I was just praying to my God," said Charotich, a Christian.

    Kenyatta has ordered 10,000 police recruits whose enrollments are still pending to immediately report for training at the police college.

    Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has called for greater security cooperation with Kenya, offering his condolences and calling the attack "barbaric." He said Friday that the killings showed the need to eliminate the "menace" of al-Shabab.

    You May Like

    Syrian Rebel Realignment Likely as al-Qaida Leader Blesses Split

    Jihadist group Jabhat al-Nusra splits from al-Qaida in what observers dub a ‘deception and denial’ exercise

    New India Child Labor Law Could Make Children More Vulnerable

    Concerns that allowing children to work in family enterprises will push more to work

    What Take-out Food Reveals About American History

    Carry-out food explains a lot about the changes taking place in society, so here's the deal with pizza, Chinese food and what racism has to do with taking food to go

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: William from kumasi from: Ghana
    April 05, 2015 3:28 AM
    Is seems to me that african leaders can win the war on muslim millitants terrorism.

    by: William from ghana from: Ghana
    April 05, 2015 12:59 AM
    I hope are african leaders will take drastic on this muslim millitants who killing innocent and peaceful citizens every days.

    by: RICHARD OIMBO from: Kisii
    April 05, 2015 12:24 AM
    I condem the al shabaab act let them know is human like anyone , what responsibility gain when kills and it killed

    by: D from: Germany
    April 04, 2015 12:40 PM
    It doesn't matter what this group's name or religion is - they murdered a bunch of people - they need to be brought to justice & eliminated.

    by: Walter from: India
    April 04, 2015 8:00 AM
    President Obama must prove his comments that muslims are good! Where we see that goodness? No where!, ONLY BLOOD BATH BY MUSLIMS ON INNOCENT CHRISTIANS ALL OVER THE WORLD, VERY SOON USA N EUROPE ARE GOING TO FACE WORST BLOOD BATH BY MUSLIM JIHADIS, WHO ARE GOING TO SUFFER NOT YOU MR PRESIDENT BUT SIMPLE COMMON IGNORENT CHRISTIANS IN USA N EUTOPE, ALL YOU LEADERS GIVE IMMIGRATION N NUCLEAR WEAPONS TO MUSKIMS TO USE ON CHRISTIANS N JEWS. WE TRUST OUR GOD OF THE BIBLE, HE WILL SAVE N DEFEND US, BUT ITS OUR DUTY TO SHOUT FROM HOUSE TOPS,WHAT YOU LEADERS ARE DOING EVERY THING IS AGAINST CHRISTIANS N JEWS! VERY SOON YOU ALSO REAP THE CONSEQUENCES!

    by: MecheoK from: NY
    April 04, 2015 7:50 AM
    Something has to be done. I greatly concerned about this 21st century genocide by militant Muslim extremist. We can't sit back and let these terrorists pillage our country, and the entire African continent one town at a time. Help us!!

    by: avlisk from: Arizona
    April 04, 2015 7:46 AM
    If I lived there, I'd carry every day now. I hope the peoples' right to bear arms isn't infringed. You must fight fire with fire. Give yourselves a chance, and arm yourselves. The cowards will think twice when their potential victims are able to fight back. It's the only chance you have now.
    In Response

    by: John
    April 06, 2015 5:33 AM
    I must agree. The Kenyan government cannot provide security for the entire country, so armed citizens must do so. What the government could do, of course, is round up everyone in the refugee camps and kick them back across the Somalia border. I have no doubt at all that the do-gooders will make absolutely sure this doesn't happen.
    In Response

    by: Xaaji Dhagax from: Somalia
    April 06, 2015 2:24 AM
    Its indisputable that terrorists are cowards and they attack only soft targets where they are able to massacre unarmed civilians.On the other hand, Africans do not need to import US' gun-culture.
    So called "right to bear arms" brought Americans to experience, almost daily, horrific school shootings; where thousands of American students were perished!

    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.
    Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Busi
    X
    July 28, 2016 4:16 AM
    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Philadelphia Uses DNC Spotlight to Profile Historic Role in Founding of United States

    The slogan of the Democratic National Convention now underway in Philadelphia is “Let’s Make History Again” which recognizes the role the city played in the foundation of the United States in the 18th century. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, local institutions are opening their doors in an effort to capitalize on the convention spotlight to draw visitors, and to offer more than just a history lesson.
    Video

    Video A Life of Fighting Back: Hillary Clinton Shatters Glass Ceiling

    Hillary Clinton made history Thursday, overcoming personal and political setbacks to become the first woman to win the presidential nomination of a major U.S. political party. If she wins in November, she will go from “first lady” to U.S. Senator from New York, to Secretary of State, to “Madam President.” Polls show Clinton is both beloved and despised. White House Correspondent Cindy Saine takes a look at the life of the woman both supporters and detractors agree is a fighter for the ages.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video First Time Delegate’s First Day Frustrations

    With thousands of people filling the streets of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania for the 2016 Democratic National Convention, VOA’s Kane Farabaugh narrowed in on one delegate as she made her first trip to a national party convention. It was a day that was anything but routine for this United States military veteran.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
    Video

    Video Recycling Lifeline for Lebanon’s Last Glassblowers

    In a small Lebanese coastal town, one family is preserving a craft that stretches back millennia. The art of glass blowing was developed by Phoenicians in the region, and the Khalifehs say they are the only ones keeping the skill alive in Lebanon. But despite teaming up with an eco-entrepreneur and receiving an unexpected boost from the country’s recent trash crisis the future remains uncertain. John Owens reports from Sarafand.
    Video

    Video Migrants Continue to Risk Lives Crossing US Border from Mexico

    In his speech Thursday before the Republican National Convention, the party’s presidential candidate, Donald Trump, reiterated his proposal to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border if elected. Polls show a large percentage of Americans support better control of the nation's southwestern border, but as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from the border town of Nogales in the Mexican state of Sonora, the situation faced by people trying to cross the border is already daunting.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora