21 September 2013

Kenya: My Relatives Among 39 Killed in Mall Siege - Uhuru

Nairobi — A resolute President Uhuru Kenyatta has told the terrorists responsible for the deaths of 39 Kenyans at the Westgate mall on Saturday that they have not won the day.

He said the Kenyan spirit had not been broken and that they only succeeded in strengthening the nation's resolve in fighting terrorism, "we remain as brave and invincible as the lions on our coat of arms," he said.

He went on to reveal that he too had lost, "very close family members," in Saturday's attack and promised to hunt down and bring to book those responsible for the attack.

"Let me make it clear. We shall hunt down the perpetrators wherever they run to. We shall get them. We shall punish them for this heinous crime," he vowed.

He went on to assure the families of those who lost their loved ones in the attack and the 150 who were injured of the government's support, "The Government will be at hand to ensure that your lives return to normal as quickly as possible," he said.

And while thanking Kenyans for the camaraderie they had already displayed in the face of the heinous attack, he challenged them to continue to give blood and offer support to the affected families, "Please continue helping, and continue praying," he asked.

He however chastised those whose aim it was to fuel the concern of Kenyans into panic terming their efforts futile, "The way we lead our lives; in freedom, openness, unity and consideration for each other represents our victory over all those who wish us ill."

First Lady Margaret Kenyatta joined her husband in congratulating Kenyans for the courage they displayed on the ground in spite of the fear they must have felt for their own lives.

"I also join the people of Kenya to thank those who have been selfless and strong for those affected by today's tragedy. By assisting in rescuing, treating, reassuring and comforting the afflicted, you have been heroic in a touching, unforgettable way," she said.

Political differences were also put aside in the aftermath of the attack with former Prime Minister Raila Odinga and former Vice-President Kalonzo Musyoka joining the government in calling for calm.

Former police commissioner Hussein Ali who is in The Hague sent his message of condolences to those killed and wished quick recovery to the injured.

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