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Kenya: Govt will not relent in fight against terrorism: PM
Kenya Broadcasting Corporation
Tuesday, July 03, 2012
The Kenyan government will not pull out the Kenya Defense Forces from Somalia despite the recurring terror attacks in the country.
Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Monday recalling the troops would be equivalent to surrendering to the terrorists.
Speaking in Garissa where he led a government delegation following Sunday's twin attacks on churches, Odinga called on Kenyans to join the security agents in fighting terrorism by volunteering any information they may have.
He made it clear that Kenyan troops will not leave Somalia until the country is liberated and pacified, noting Kenya will not be at peace until Somalia which has not known peace for two decades realizes peace.
"We want Somalia to be peaceful so that the 500,000 Somali refugees being hosted in Dadaab refugee camp can go back to their country to relieve Kenya of the burden of hosting them," he said.
He added, "surrender is therefore not an option for us because if we leave Somalia, anarchy will set in which will spill over the borders."
Saying terrorism transcended religious, political or racial boundaries, Odinga asked Kenyans to rise up and join the security forces in fighting this vice which, he added, if not checked will snowball into a huge conflagration that can consume the entire region.
He said, "It is known that al Shabab recently joined al qaeda, and there is danger that the terrorist organizations could link up with other terrorist groups like Boko Haram in Nigeria to destabilize the whole African continent."
Odinga who send his condolences to the bereaved families assured them and Kenyans at large that the terrorists will be tracked down arrested and punished.
Terming the terrorist attacks on churches as cowardly, the PM cautioned Kenyans against falling prey to the machinations of the terrorists whom, he said, wanted to incite religious animosity between Christians and Muslims.
The PM appealed for sobriety in the wake of the attacks, saying it was improper to apportion blame to any religious sect as that will be playing in the hands of the terrorists.
While underscoring the government's commitment to combating terrorism, Vice president Kalonzo Musyoka lauded Muslim leaders for denouncing terrorism acts.
Defense Minister Yusuf Haji assured Kenyans that all efforts were being made to apprehend the attackers and urged Kenyans to remain calm adding that security has been beefed up across the country.
Police Commissioner Mathew Iteere on the other hand said that they had received general intelligence of possible attacks but it was not specific.
Meanwhile, US President Barrack Obama condemned Sunday's terrorist attacks on innocent civilians in Garissa and called for speedy justice on the perpetrators of the recent spate of terror attacks along Kenya's coastal and the North East regions.
In a statement from the office of the Press Secretary, President Obama said, "Perpetrators of these attacks have shown no respect for human life and dignity, and must be brought to justice for these heinous acts."
Muslim leaders who spoke at the meeting condemned the incident saying it had nothing to do with religion but an act of terrorism.
They pledged to team up with security forces and their Christian counterparts to protect churches from similar attacks in the future.
Elsewhere, Deputy Prime Minister Uhuru Kenyatta and Eldoret North MP William Ruto, separately condemned the Garissa attack and called for calm as the security apparatus pursue the perpetrators.
And the Africa Inland Church Kenya Presiding bishop Silas Yego on the other hand termed the acts as cowardly and called on the government to beef security across the country to avert further attacks.
Speaking in Nairobi Monday, the Bishop also urged Kenyans to cooperate with security agents and report any suspicious individuals in their midst.
The attacks left 17 people dead, while over 60 others were injured and are currently receiving treatment.
They occurred at AIC church and the Central Cathedral Catholic Church as worshippers attended the morning services.
Some of those who were critically injured were transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital for specialized treatment.
The Hospital's Chief Executive Officer Richard Lesiyampe says the two of the survivors were operated on Monday morning.
Speaking to journalists, Lesiyampe said the other patients are in stable condition adding that medical specialists at the hospital are working around the clock to restore their health.
At the same time Lesiyampe is calling on Kenyans to continue donating blood since the patients require a lot of blood. He said the victims sustained chest injuries while others suffered fractured limbs.
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