News / Africa

East Africa Law Society Condemns Kenya ‘Terrorist’ Attack

Civilians who had been hiding inside during the gun battle manage to flee from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21, 2013.
Civilians who had been hiding inside during the gun battle manage to flee from the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Sept. 21, 2013.
Peter Clottey
The president of the East Africa Law Society (ELS) has sharply condemned the attack by gunmen at a mall in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, over the weekend.

“The [ELS] wants to condemn in the strongest terms possible the attacks by this terror group. We see this as a serious attack on human life,” said ELS president James Mwamu. “Human lives have been lost because of mistakes that could have been avoided. This is going to cause a lot of pain to citizens who are going to bear the brunt.”

Mwamu also called on the government to recruit, train and adequately equip anti-terror security agents to deal with the growing threat from regional armed militants, including the Somali-based radical Islamic group, al-Shabab.

“We need to train more anti-terror police, security agents that will quickly deal with this. We must get the latest equipment that can detect [or give] terror alerts, break the terror cells wherever they are. That is the only way the government can combat terrorism,” said Mwamu.

Mwamu’s comments came after gunmen opened fire in a shopping mall in the capital, Nairobi. Survivors said gunmen fired indiscriminately at crowds of shoppers and threw grenades as they moved into the Westgate Mall, a popular, upscale gathering place for shopping and dining.

Mwamu said security agents should have done more to prevent the attack.

“This particular mall has been targeted in the past for attacks. There was a need for the security intelligence to have kept tabs on what has been going on and to deploy very serious security surveillance. We think that security is deteriorating in the country,” said Mwamu. “[It] must be tightened. There must be sufficient protection of the citizens of the republic of Kenya before these fellows do something much worse.”

The US State Department’s deputy spokesperson Marie Harf condemned the attack. She called the attack a “senseless act of violence that has resulted in death and injury for many innocent men, women, and children.”

“Our condolences,” she continued, “go out to the families and friends of all victims.  We have reports of American citizens injured in the attack, and the U.S. Embassy is actively reaching out to provide assistance.”

Mwamu called on the government to urgently implement measures to prevent future attacks.

“You will have imagined if these guys would walk in to a bigger place like Kenyatta International Conference Center where you have about 3,000 working during the day and blow up the whole place. It will be terrible, it will be tragedy,” said Mwamu. “In light of what happened on September 11, you can never take these things for granted anymore.”

Mwamu called on for international cooperation in dealing with terrorism to help ensure stability and peace in Kenya and in the region.

“[Kenyan authorities] should be able to cooperate with countries that have successfully [dealt with] or are trying to deal with issues of terror attacks like the United States, Britain and Israel that have the latest gadgets…and be able to get technical expertise on some of these issues,” said Mwamu.
Clottey interview with James Mwamu, president East Africa Law Society
Clottey interview with James Mwamu, president East Africa Law Societyi
|| 0:00:00

You May Like

Photogallery Belgian Security Measures Foreshadow New Normal for Europe

Rising threat of terrorism, disaffected Muslim populations and open borders, along with refugee, migrant crisis, are creating perfect storm for Europe, which some analysts fear continent is ill-suited to weather

Competing Claims of Responsibility for Mali Hotel Attack

Malian authorities ask public for help in identifying gunmen killed in attack, amid conflicting claims of responsibility from multiple jihadist groups active in the country

Video Debt-ridden Refugees Await Onslaught of Lebanese Winter

Aid agencies are attempting to reduce potentially devastating consequences of freezing conditions and snowstorms that killed eight last year, including three Syrian refugees

This forum has been closed.
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

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.
After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against ISi
November 24, 2015 3:04 AM
The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video After Paris Attacks, France Steps Up Fight Against IS

The November 13 Paris attacks have drawn increased attention to Syria, where many of the suspected perpetrators are said to have received training. French President Francois Hollande is working to build a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State in Syria and in Iraq. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video US, Cambodian Navies Pair Up in Gulf of Thailand

The U.S. Navy has deployed one of its newest and most advanced ships to Cambodia to conduct joint training drills in the Gulf of Thailand. Riding hull-to-hull with Cambodian ships, the seamen of the USS Fort Worth are executing joint-training drills that will help build relations in Southeast Asia. David Boyle reports for VOA from Preah Sihanouk province.

Video Americans Sharpen Focus on Terrorism

Washington will be quieter than usual this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday, even as Americans across the nation register heightened concerns over possible terrorist threats. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports new polling data from ABC News and the Washington Post newspaper show an electorate increasingly focused on security issues after the deadly Islamic State attacks in Paris.

Video World Leaders Head to Paris for Climate Deal

Heads of state from nearly 80 countries are heading to Paris (November 30-December 11) to craft a global climate change agreement. The new accord will replace the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change that expired in 2012.

Video Uncertain Future for Syrian Refugee Resettlement in Illinois

For the trickle of Syrian refugees finding new homes in the Midwest city of Chicago, the call to end resettlement in many U.S. states is adding another dimension to their long journey fleeing war. Organizations working to help them integrate say the backlash since the Paris attacks is both harming and helping their efforts to provide refugees sanctuary. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

Video Creating Physical Virtual Reality With Tiny Drones

As many computer gamers know, virtual reality is a three-dimensional picture, projected inside special googles. It can fool your brain into thinking the computer world is the real world. But If you try to touch it, it’s not there. Now Canadian researchers say it may be possible to create a physical virtual reality using tiny drones. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video New American Indian Village Takes Visitors Back in Time

There is precious little opportunity to experience what life was like in the United States before its colonization by European settlers. Now, an American Indian village built in a park outside Washington is taking visitors back in time to experience the way of life of America's indigenous people. Carol Pearson narrates this report from VOA's June Soh.

Video Even With Hometown Liberated, Yazidi Refugees Fear Return

While the northern Iraqi town of Sinjar has been liberated from Islamic State forces, it's not clear whether Yazidi residents who fled the militants will now return home. VOA’s Mahmut Bozarslan talked with Yazidis, a religious and ethnic minority, at a Turkish refugee camp in Diyarbakır. Robert Raffaele narrates his report.

Video Nairobi Tailors Make Pope Francis’ Vestments

To ensure the pope is properly attired during his visit, the Kenya Conference of Catholic Bishops asked the Dolly Craft Sewing Project in the Nairobi slum of Kangemi to make the pope's vestments, the garments he will wear during the various ceremonies. Jill Craig reports.

Video Cross-Border Terrorism Puts Europe’s Passport-Free Travel in Doubt

The fallout from the Islamic State terror attacks in Paris has put the future of Europe’s passport-free travel area, known as the "Schengen Zone," in doubt. Several of the perpetrators were known to intelligence agencies, but were not intercepted. Henry Ridgwell reports from London European ministers are to hold an emergency meeting Friday in Brussels to look at ways of improving security.

Video El Niño Brings Unexpected Fish From Mexico to California

Fish in an unexpected spectrum of sizes, shapes and colors are moving north, through El Niño's warm currents from Mexican waters to the Pacific Ocean off California’s coast. El Nino is the periodic warming of the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. As Faiza Elmasry tells us, this phenomenon thrills scientists and gives anglers the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime big catch. Faith Lapidus narrates.

Video Terrorism in Many Forms Continues to Plague Africa

While the world's attention is on Paris in the wake of Friday night's deadly attacks, terrorism from various sides remains a looming threat in many African countries. Nigerian cities have been targeted this week by attacks many believe were staged by the violent Islamist group Boko Haram. In addition, residents in many regions are forced to flee their homes as they are terrorized by armed militias. Zlatica Hoke reports.

Video Study: Underage Marriage Rate Higher for Females in Pakistan

While attitudes about the societal role of females in Pakistan are evolving, research by child advocacy group Plan International suggests that underage marriage of girls remains a particularly big issue in the country. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports how such marriages leads to further social problems.

VOA Blogs