News / Africa

    Top Kenyan Officials Sacked After Massacre

    • Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, left, with Deputy President William Ruto, addresses a news conference at the State House in Nairobi, Kenya, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • Kenyan military personnel and Red Cross volunteers carry bodies of people killed at a quarry in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Kenya, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • People stand near bodies lined up on the ground at a quarry site where attackers killed at least 36 workers in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • Kenyan military personnel and Red Cross volunteers carry bodies of people killed at a quarry in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • Kenyan military personnel stand near bodies lined up on the ground at a quarry site where attackers killed at least 36 workers in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Dec. 2, 2014.
    • Bodies of the Kenyans attacked by Islamist extremists lie at a quarry in Mandera County, Kenya, Dec. 2, 2014.
    Gabe Joselow

    Two top Kenyan security officials are being replaced following a terrorist attack that left 36 people dead Tuesday in northeastern Kenya, the second such incident in 10 days. 

    Kenya's president announced the changes, while vowing to intensify Kenya's war on terrorism.

    In an address to the nation, President Uhuru Kenyatta said he accepted the resignation of Police Chief David Kimaiyo and has nominated a new Cabinet Secretary for Interior - to replace Joseph Ole Lenku.

    Kenyan military personnel and Red Cross volunteers carry bodies of people killed at a quarry in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Dec. 2, 2014.Kenyan military personnel and Red Cross volunteers carry bodies of people killed at a quarry in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Dec. 2, 2014.
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    Kenyan military personnel and Red Cross volunteers carry bodies of people killed at a quarry in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Dec. 2, 2014.
    Kenyan military personnel and Red Cross volunteers carry bodies of people killed at a quarry in a village in Korome, outside the border town of Mandera, Dec. 2, 2014.

    The changes came after gunmen attacked workers from a quarry in Mandera County, near the border with Somalia, as they slept in their tents, an attack claimed by the Somali militant group al-Shabab.

    Last week, militants hijacked a bus in a nearby area, killing 28 people.  In both incidents, witnesses say non-Muslims were separated and executed.

    In his address, Kenyatta tried to deflect the growing criticism of his government's handling of the security situation in the country.

    “Kenya is at war and our enemy thrives on sowing panic and despondency in our hearts.  We aid this enemy when we succumb to suspicion, fear, finger-pointing and blame games,” said Kenyatta.

    Kimaiyo retires

    At a news conference, police chief Kimaiyo said he was taking early retirement for personal reasons.  No successor has been named. Kenyatta announced he was nominating Major General Joseph Nkaissery to replace Ole Lenku.

    Al-Shabab Timeline

    2006 - Launches insurgency to take control of Somalia and impose strict Islamic law
    2008 - U.S. declares al-Shabab a foreign terrorist organization
    2009 - Seizes control of parts of Mogadishu and the port city Kismayo
    2010 - Expands control across central and southern Somalia, carries out deadly bombing in Kampala, Uganda
    2011 - Blocks drought/famine aid from areas under its control
    2011 - East African leaders declare al-Shabab a regional threat; Ethiopian, Kenyan troops enter Somalia to pursue the group, which is driven out of Mogadishu
    2012 - Declares itself an al-Qaida ally, loses ground in Somalia, abandons strategic coastal stronghold Kismayo
    2013 - Attacks Mogadishu court complex, killing more than 30 and attacks mall in Nairobi, Kenya, killing at least 69 people
    2014 - Attack in Mogadishu kills more than 10 on New Year's Day

    Activists called for both officials to step down during recent protests in Nairobi, demanding better security following several terror attacks in Kenya.  The most notable was last year's deadly siege on the Westgate Shopping mall, also claimed by al-Shabab.

    President Kenyatta called for Kenyans to support the war on terrorism and continued military involvement in Somalia, al-Shabab’s base.

    “We will not flinch or relent in the war on terrorism in our country and our region.  We shall continue to inflict painful casualties on these terrorists until we secure our country and region,” said Kenyatta.

    Al-Shabab claims responsibility

    In a statement sent to the media, an al-Shabab spokesman said the group's Saleh Naban brigade carried out Tuesday's attack as part of a continuing response to “Kenya's occupation of Muslim lands.”

    Kenyan Defense Forces have been active in Somalia since 2011.  Last week, Kenyan jets targeted militant bases across the border in response to the bus attack.

    A KDF spokesman told VOA Kenya forces already in the area are conducting “active operations” in pursuit of those responsible for Tuesday's attack on quarry workers.

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    Comment Sorting
    Comments page of 2
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    by: Barasa from: kitale
    December 03, 2014 6:10 AM
    We kenyan r watching keenly over all events taken by militant hop it'll not take the direction they want it to go. Heavenly Father fogive them they don't knw what it mean by killing inocent chrisrian.

    by: shinaya Najma from: Nairobi
    December 03, 2014 6:08 AM
    the Kenyan forces are asleep can they wake up

    by: kevinlee from: california
    December 03, 2014 12:23 AM
    Al-Shabaab rebels attacked a target in Kenya, separating non-Muslim workers from their Muslim colleagues and executing them, a spokesman said on Tuesday.........
    See More
    http://www.iafrica.tv/al-shabaab-kills-36-replaces-security-chiefs/

    by: polycarp were from: migori
    December 02, 2014 11:55 PM
    It is obvious that the enemy is not internal. All recent reports indicate they cross on foot from somalia. Does external aggration fall entirely under interior Cs or the defence minister could also be asleep?

    by: johnethan from: california
    December 02, 2014 11:44 PM
    What is this the human has no value 36 people killed in a moment and no one have to stop this . What will happen with replacement of security chief

    by: Sammy kaye from: Diani
    December 02, 2014 9:22 PM
    Nkaisseri should turn down this appointment because he comes from the opposition, without forgeting that same president,same government refused to have national dialogue on our national issues,security being the main.This is the tactic to silence the opposition.we are not in coalition government to share cabinet slots !!

    by: williweb from: Phoenix Arizona USA
    December 02, 2014 12:41 PM
    They need helicopter gunships with FLIR so they can pick the muslim terrorists off at night or drive them from Kenyan & Somali land.

    by: Sammy kaye from: Diani
    December 02, 2014 12:22 PM
    Good for our force to fight al shabab but what forces are doing in barracks instead of securing our borders? We had forgotten that kenya we are at war with the enemy.Then Nkaiseri should try to mend the tattered security organ but never sleep on job at the expense of innocent kenyan lives
    In Response

    by: Aaron Kiprotich from: Nakuru
    December 02, 2014 1:46 PM
    To our beloved president and his Debuty,we are behind you in tightening up our security.lets champion up and kick out this big enemy.as we worry, lets look around and hold our hand,team up and finally we shall succeed.

    by: DAVID ADIKA from: NAIROBI
    December 02, 2014 10:51 AM
    recent attacks in north east kenya has led to so much suffering.i appeal to nationals worldwide to support victimised families

    by: Frank babie from: Uganda
    December 02, 2014 10:28 AM
    More help from the neighbours otherwise security should be increased
    Comments page of 2
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