Kenyan Ambassador’s Statement to the ACP Committee of Ambassadors on the terrorist attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi
Brussels, 26 September 2013/ GoK: On Saturday 21st September 2013 armed terrorists attacked Westgate Mall in Nairobi’s Westland area. The heinous act has so far resulted in 240 casualties with 67 of them losing their lives, 62 remain hospitalised with many more still undergoing various forms of treatment.
The terrorists, in a bid to detract attention, also caused fire in a section of the building, leading to the collapse of some sections of the mall and consequently, trapping some bodies including the terrorists. The security operation ended on 24th September 2013. Security sweeping of the entire mall, including search and rescue efforts, are underway.
The Government of the Republic of Kenya is resolute on the tragedy and terrorism in particular and has reaffirmed itself of its commitment to fight all manners of extremisms and fundamentalisms that promote terrorism and radicalisation.
The President of the Republic of Kenya, H.E Uhuru Kenyatta has reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to fight and defeat terrorism in all its forms. The President has also reassured Kenyans, friends of Kenya and development partners that all parts of the country including all entry points (Sea and Air ports) have been placed under heightened security and that Kenya is safe. Additionally, the Government of Kenya has confirmed that all International meetings and conferences scheduled to take place in the country will continue and run as per the confirmed schedules.
Since Saturday when the tragedy struck, Kenya has continued to receive messages of solidarity and support from foreign governments and organisations including the African Union Commission, United Nations, and the European Union. As a country we are grateful for this show of solidarity and support. The Kenya Government lauds the extraordinary efforts and the commitment of the Kenya Defence Forces, people of Kenya who have not only offered assistance but also remained united and courageous against the cowardly acts. As of today a lot of material and financial support has been revive. Kenyans through the MPESA Money transfer service have contributed over Kenya Shillings 60 million (USD 700,000). In a show of solidarity and commitment against terror Kenyans have donated over 12,000 pints of blood.
Help lines have been opened to link missing people with their loved ones. Kenya Missions abroad have been receiving messages of sympathy and condolences. Kenya Mission to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Mission to European Union will be receiving similar messages through: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org; telephone +3223401040 or fax +3223401050. A condolence book has been opened and available at the Embassy between 10h00 and 13h00, and 14h00 to 15h00 daily from Tuesday 24th September to Friday 27th September 2013.
During moments of need, Kenya has seen and witnessed its true friends in both action and in deed. Kenya has come under similar threats in the past and has emerged even more united, strong, and secure. Kenya strongly believes in a peaceful and secure world, devoid of fear, rich in peace and tranquillity and hospitable for maximum welfare of humankind. The whole world therefore, must remain firm, courageous, united and never give room to those with vicious desires of misguided terrorists and their supporters.
Thank you all