Is Kenya doing enough to protect its citizens? - CNBC Africa

Is Kenya doing enough to protect its citizens?

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

The Mpeketoni attack is the most deadly attack in Kenya since at least 67 people were killed during a siege at West Gate Mall in Nairobi.

The attacks mainly grenades, bombs and armed have been occurring throughout the country with alarming frequency since 2012. The main threat is from extremists linked to Al-Shabaab, a militant group in Somalia angered by Kenya’s military intervention in the war torn country.

According to Simon Allison, a senior reporter for Africa at the Daily Maverick, insecurity is on the rise in Africa.

(READ MORE: Islamists kill 50 in Kenya, some during World Cup screening)

“In some African countries, there are large very powerful Islamic groups operating and it really is one that governments have not come up with a satisfactory solution,” Allison said.

Last week, an attack carried out in the coastal town of Mpeketoni left at least 60 dead. The Mpeketoni attack is the most deadly attack in Kenya since at least 67 people were killed during a siege at a Nairobi mall last September.

(READ MORE: Kenyan market impacted by the Westgate mall terror attack)

“In Kenya we have seen in recent months a crackdown on the Somali population. The government is hoping that by rounding up Somalis they are going to round up Al-Shabaab Islamists in the process. I am not sure that this is the right way to go about it because what ultimately happens is [government] are committing human rights abuses in the process of trying to maintain the security threats,” Allison said.


As a result to the recent attacks, the Kenyan government has reacted by deploying the military in some trouble spots. They have also contracted telecommunication, Safaricom, to supply the regime with a national surveillance system worth 14.9 billion Kenyan shillings. The security communications system will entail state-of-the-art CCTV surveillance cameras linked to the Command Control Centre to boost security.

During the country’s 2014/2015 budgetary address, a total of 179.1 billion Kenyan shillings was allocated to boost security.

(READ MORE: Budget increases as Al-Shabaab declares ‘war zone’ in Kenya)

Henry Rotich, cabinet secretary for the Treasury, said during his budgetary address, “Without security, the economy will not grow and therefore we will continue prioritising on security.”

The United States, the United Kingdom, France and Australia have issued travel advisories to Kenya since the wake of terror threats in the country.

According to US government who revised their travel advisory to Kenya on Thursday, warned its citizens of travelling to various parts of the country without consent. The foreign government also stated they will relocate some of their staff.

(READ MORE: US warns of impending attacks in Kenya)