Nairobi – Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta says his administration will not be intimidated by evil forces in its efforts to ensure peace and stability in Kenya and regionally.
Condemning the Westgate Mall terrorist attack on 21 September, he said that the Kenya Defence Forces (KDF) would remain in Somalia until there was order in [the] Horn of Africa country.
“These murderers claim they attacked us because Kenya is in Somalia. Let me remind them that for over 20 years Somalis fought each other while we only offered refuge to those running away from the civil war,” he said.
He said Kenya went to fight in Somalia after the Al-Shabaab militants, who had controlled large parts of Somalia, interfered with the security of Kenyans and not before.
The president was speaking during an emotional national inter-religious prayer service at the Kenya International Convention centre attended by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta, members of the diplomatic corps and Kenyans from all walks of life on Tuesday. During the service, special prayers were offered for the Westgate Mall terror attack victims and their families.
The president said a commission of inquiry would be formed to establish what transpired during the Westgate Mall terror attack and its aftermath.
He urged Kenyans to be vigilant wherever they were, adding that security was the responsibility of every citizen.
“We must be our brother’s keeper wherever we are. Let us work together in smoking out criminals before they harm us. That way we will rid ourselves of evil-doers,” he said.
Kenya’s Deputy President William Ruto said the Westgate terror attack had enhanced Kenyans’ resolve to stand united. Contrary to the expectations of the Westgate terrorists, Kenyans would not be divided along religious lines, he added.
“We want to tell them that ‘Yes, in Kenya we have Christians, Muslims, Hindus and people of other faiths’, but we are all one people, one nation in one great country called Kenya and children of one God,” the Deputy President said.
He described the perpetrators of the Westgate terror attack as “primitive and backward barbarians”, who do not belong to any religion.
“The belief, philosophy or doctrine of those who kill children, women and innocent adults do not belong to any religion. They are evil people who belong in hell,” Ruto said. – SAnews.gov.za-NNN