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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
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 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 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.

All About America

AppleAndroid