News / Africa

Kenya President Blames Latest Attacks on Ethnic Divisions

FILE - Wreckages of burnt cars are seen along the main road to Lamu from Mpeketoni after unidentified gunmen attacked the coastal Kenyan town of Mpeketoni, June 16, 2014.
FILE - Wreckages of burnt cars are seen along the main road to Lamu from Mpeketoni after unidentified gunmen attacked the coastal Kenyan town of Mpeketoni, June 16, 2014.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says deadly violence in two small towns in the coast region was ethnically motivated, despite a claim by the Somali militant group al-Shabab that it carried out the assaults. More than 60 people were killed in the attacks Sunday and Monday.

In an address to the nation Tuesday, Kenyatta said the attack in Mpeketoni and Mporomoko towns was not Islamic terrorism.

“The attack in Lamu was well-planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence against the Kenyan community, with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons," said Kenyatta. "This, therefore, was not an al-Shabab terrorist attack. Evidence indicates that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of the heinous crime.”

Political tensions in Kenya have been on the rise in recent weeks, as the opposition demands the government convene a national forum to discuss the country's worsening security, economic and political situation.

Opposition warns

In their recent political rallies, the opposition warned Kenyatta’s government to heed to the call for dialogue, or face further protest demonstrations.

Kenyatta says some politicians are preaching incitement and turning communities against each other.

“Dangerous leaders preach the insidious message that some people are holy, while others are evil," said Kenyatta. "The sum total of these campaigns is to portray certain people as less human and therefore less deserving of compassion and consideration.”

Members of the government led by Kenyatta and his deputy, William Ruto, have been accused of favoring their communities in top government appointments, leaving other communities behind.

In Mpeketoni, visiting Interior Cabinet secretary Joseph Ole Lenku was jeered Tuesday when he tried to address angry residents.

Ole Lenku called on residents to help security officers nab the killers.

"Our country is being attacked," he said. "We said in the beginning that there was incitement in this country. You the citizens you have to help us because these people have not left the area. They are among you. If you won’t tell us who they are, then it will take us some time to know who they are.”

Growing discord

Gunmen stormed into another town Tuesday in the coastal region, 18 kilometers away from Mpeketoni, killing at least 10 people. Government officials say townspeople were kidnapped and houses torched before the attackers escaped into the nearby Boni forest.

Speaking in Kwale county Monday, opposition leader and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga accused [Cabinet secretary] Lenku of trivializing the issue, and called for his resignation.

Kenya has troops in Somalia fighting al-Shabab. In a statement to the media, the militant group said the Kenyan government is fighting a losing war and has turned its vengeance against Muslims in Kenya.

The militants said the raids were in response to Kenya's intimidation and oppression of Muslims, and the extrajudicial killings of Muslim clerics.

The group warned tourists visiting Kenya to stay away or suffer what it said would be the "bitter consequences of their folly."

You May Like

For Lebanon-based Refugees, Desperation Fuels Perilous Passage

In a war that has caused an estimated three million people to flee Syria, efforts to make perilous sea journey in search of asylum expected to increase More

South African Brewer Tackles Climate Change

Mega-brewer SAB Miller sent delegates to climate summit in Peru, says it is one of many private companies taking their own steps to fight climate change More

Indonesia Reports Increase in Citizens Joining Islamic State

Officials say more than 350 of its citizens are now in Syria or Iraq to fight with Islamic State - 50 more than last month More

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

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?i
X
Ayesha Tanzeem
December 17, 2014 11:54 AM
The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video Will Pakistan School Shooting Galvanize Pakistan Against Extremism?

The attack on a military school in Pakistan’s northwest city of Peshawar left 141 dead, including 132 children. Strong statements of condemnation poured in from across the world. The country announced three days of mourning, and the leadership, both political and military, promised retribution. VOA's Ayesha Tanzeem looks at how likely the Pakistani government is to clamp down on all extremist groups.
Video

Video ‘Anti-Islamization’ Marches Increase Tensions In Germany

Anti-immigrant rallies in Germany have been building in recent weeks, peaking Monday night in the city of Dresden where tens of thousands of people turned out to demonstrate against what they call the ‘Islamization’ of the West. Germany has offered asylum to more Syrian refugees than any other country, and this appears to have set off the protests. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.
Video

Video Refugees Living in Kenya Long for Peace in the Home Countries

Kenya is host to numerous refugees seeking safe haven from conflict. Immigrants from Somalia face challenges in their new lives in Kenya. Ahead of International Migrants Day (December 18) Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video Turkey's Authoritarianism Dismays Western Allies

The Turkish government has been defiant in the face of criticism at home and abroad for its raids targeting opposition media. The European Union on Monday expressed dismay after President Recep Tayyip Erdogan lashed out at Brussels for criticizing his government's action. Turkey's bid to be considered for EU membership has been on hold while critics accuse the NATO ally of increasingly authoritarian rule. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video US-China Year in Review: Hong Kong to Climate Change

The United States is pushing for a code of conduct to resolve territorial disputes in the South China Sea as it works to improve commercial ties with Beijing. VOA State Department correspondent Scott Stearns reports on a year of U.S. policy toward China from Hong Kong to climate change.
Video

Video Japanese Leader’s Election Win Raises Potential for Conflict with Neighbors

Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and his allies easily won a two-thirds majority in parliament Sunday, even though the country has slipped into recession under his conservative policies. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from Seoul, that the prime minister’s victory will empower him to continue economic reforms but also pursue a nationalist agenda that will likely increase tensions with Japan’s neighbors.
Video

Video Nuba Mountain Families Hide in Caves to Escape Aerial Bombings

Despite ongoing peace talks between Sudan's government and the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North, or SPLM-N, daily aerial attacks continue in South Kordofan province’s Nuba Mountains. Adam Bailes was there and reports for VOA that government forces are targeting civilian areas, rather than military positions, with their daily bombardments.

All About America

AppleAndroid