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

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the US are seeing gas prices dip below $3 a gallon More

Afghan Women's Soccer Team Building for the Future

A four-team female league was recently set up in Kabul; It will help identify players for the national team More

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

Pyongyang threatens nuclear test as joint US, S. Korean exercises show forces’ capabilities 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.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid