News / Africa

Kenya Defends Security Efforts After Weekend Bombings

Muslims carry a casket in Mombasa, Kenya, May 4, 2014, after an explosion killed four people at a bus stop on Saturday night.
Muslims carry a casket in Mombasa, Kenya, May 4, 2014, after an explosion killed four people at a bus stop on Saturday night.
Reuters
Kenya's government defended the efforts of its security services on Monday despite deadly weekend bombings, seven months after the Westgate shopping mall attack, and said it has foiled many other plots.

Blasts in Nairobi and Mombasa killed seven people this weekend, but for months many Kenyans have voiced growing anger that militants - believed to be linked to Somalia's al-Qaida-aligned al-Shabab group or their sympathizers - have continued to stage sporadic attacks with apparent ease.

"We have disrupted a lot of schemes of the terrorists in our country," Deputy President William Ruto told journalists in response to questions about public frustration over insecurity.

"The many that we manage to disrupt sometimes are lost when one happens in the country, because that is what people notice."

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the weekend attacks, but Somalia's al-Shabab said it carried out the Westgate raid in Nairobi in September in which gunmen killed at least 67 people.

Al-Shabab has said that that attack and others it has claimed in Kenya were to demand Kenyan troops withdraw from neighboring Somalia.

Ruto repeated that his government would not to pull its soldiers out of Somalia, saying that would let al-Shabab regroup and create a bigger threat to Kenya.

"We will not relent and we will not withdraw from Somalia," Ruto said, noting that Kenya would not succumb to "blackmail".

"We are on top of this situation," he said of the security response. "What you see are desperate kicks of a dying horse."

Security worries are hurting Kenya's tourism industry.

Hotels on the popular coast north and south of Mombasa have seen a drop in bookings since Westgate and because of other attacks.

The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi told its citizens after Saturday's attacks on Mombasa to avoid any travel to the port city "for the time being".

Western diplomats have privately said Kenyan security forces - which receive aid and training from the United States, Britain and Israel among others - could do more to secure the nation and said rivalries between agencies hampered intelligence work.

In his comments at the news conference, Ruto said different arms of the security services were operating together: "All our security agencies have been working coherently and indivisibly."

In the aftermath of Westgate, many Kenyans complained there were no high-level resignations despite failings in handling the four-day siege, including looting of the mall by soldiers.

Responding to a question about whether top officials would take responsibility after the weekend attacks, Ruto said: "We don't want to participate in a game of musical chairs."

He called on all citizens to stay vigilant and help spot suspicious individuals or packages. He said steps would be taken to protect travellers on public transport and urged the judiciary to act, after saying some suspected militants were released on bail and then carried out or plotted attacks.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More