Kenyan Reactions to Bin Laden Death

“Kenyan leaders welcome news of Osama’s death” , Daily Nation:

Kenyan leaders on Monday joined the world in saluting the US for killing al Qaeda chief Osama Bin Laden.

President Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga said Kenyans were happy with the killing.
Kenya has suffered most of the al Qaeda terrorist attacks in East Africa with one in 1998 in Nairobi leaving more than 200 people dead. There was also another attack in Kikambala, Mombasa.

President Kibaki said the killing of Osama in Pakistani brought justice for the Kenyan victims of al-Qaeda.

“On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Kenya I commend all those people behind the successful tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden,” President Kibaki said.

“The killing of Osama has taken place nearly thirteen years after the terrorist bombings in Nairobi that led to the death of over two hundred people, in an act believed to have been masterminded by Osama. His killing is an act of justice to those Kenyans who lost their lives and the many more who suffered injuries.”

Mr Odinga was quoted by BBC saying: “Kenyans are happy and thank the US people, the Pakistani people and everybody else who managed to kill Osama. Osama’s death can only be positive for Kenya, but we need to have a stable government in Somalia.”

“The loss of its [al-Qaeda’s] leader may first upset the movement but then it will regroup and continue.”

The al-Shabab militant group, which controls much of southern Somalia, has close links to al-Qaeda and last year carried out a suicide bombing in Uganda. The group has also threatened to attack Kenya for training Somali Transitional Federal Government forces.

In 2009 US forces killed Saleh Ali Saleh Nabhan, a top al-Qaeda operative accused of links to the 1998 embassy bombings, in a raid in Somalia.

Osama also lived in Sudan for five years.

Separately, Internal Security permanent secretary Francis Kimemia said the US should also target Al Qaeda cells in East Africa.

The US embassy in Nairobi said it stood by President Barack Obama’s statement that justice has been done as a result of killing of Osama.
“It is important to remember that hundreds of Kenyans and Americans were killed and wounded when the US embassy was attacked by al Qaeda on August 7, 1998,” the embassy said.

It said many innocent people of many nationalities and faiths have been killed by al Qaeda under the direction of Osama.

“Kenyan military ‘vigilant’ after Bin Laden death” , East African:

Kenyan security forces said Monday they will “remain vigilant” in the country’s two main cities and along the border with neighbouring Somalia after the killing in Pakistan of Osama Bin Laden.

“Security forces will remain vigilant in Nairobi, Mombasa and the border with Somalia”, where Al Qaeda-affiliated Shebab militia have been fighting pro-Somali government forces, military spokesman Bogita Ongeri said.

“We obviously welcome the news of the killing on Osama, but that will not be the end of the war against terrorism,” Ongeri told AFP by telephone.

“We will remain vigilant throughout; you remember they warned of attacks recently, and now their leader has been reported killed, we will continue to strengthen our security and the intelligence gathering networks.”

Kenyan police started beefing up security some 10 days ago after Shebab rebels threatened to bomb public places such as shopping malls and places of worship over the four-day Easter weekend.

They increased patrols throughout the country, stepped up security measures at government buildings and instructed the shopping mall managers to do the same.

“Osama’s death is the best news I have heard in 12 years, says victim” , The Standard:

“That is the best news that I have heard over the past 12 years. I feel comforted that finally justice has been served and I am in such a celebratory mood”.

This was how Charles Muriuki, 25, greeted the news that Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden had been killed by American soldiers in his hide-outs in Pakistan.

Muriuki who lost his mother, Mary Wanjiru Muriuki, in the August 7, 1998 bomb blast that was targeting the American Embassy in Kenya said he has over years waited to receive the news of the capture or killing of Bin Laden.

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