Al-Shabaab not responsible for attacks: Kenyatta - CNBC Africa

Al-Shabaab not responsible for attacks: Kenyatta

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta says the attack carried out in Lamu was not the work of Al-Shabaab. PHOTO: Coast Week

“The attack in Lamu was well planned, orchestrated, and politically motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community, with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons. This therefore, was not an Al-Shabaab terrorist attack,” Kenyatta said in an address to the nation.

The president went ahead and stated that evidence gathered indicates that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of the attacks that led to at least 60 deaths and the destruction of property.

According to Kenyatta, authorities were aware of the attacks but failed to act.

“It is now clear that intelligence on this attack was availed to the security officers in Mpeketoni. Unfortunately, the officers did not act accordingly. This negligence and abdication of duty and responsibility is unacceptable. Accordingly, all concerned officers have been suspended and will be charged immediately in a court of law,” he said. 

(READ MORE: Islamist militants kill 15 more in new attack on Kenyan coast)

The country’s opposition team has been calling for a national dialogue with the president and his deputy over national problems including insecurity, corruption and the high costs of living. The opposition has held rallies in various cities of the country in recent days. 

“Kenyans and the government in particular, have, over the last several weeks, observed frenzied political rhetoric laced with ethnic profiling of some Kenyan communities and obvious acts of incitement to lawlessness and possible violence.”

The president stated that security has been enhanced in Lamu County in order to restore normalcy in the affected areas. He called upon Kenyans to stay vigilant and observe what is going on around them and to unite. 

The government is expected to cater for the hospital bills of the injured and the funeral expenses of the dead as well as compensate all who lost their properties during the attack.