UNITED in grief, President Uhuru Kenyatta and former Prime Minister Raila Odinga condemned the Westgate Mall attack. Uhuru said Kenya will not be intimidated in its war against terror.
Grieving the loss of his nephew and citizens, Uhuru was joined by national leaders and African ambassadors to pay tribute to Kenyans.
All leaders who spoke, ßNairobi Governor Evans Kidero, dean of the African diplomatic Corps Kelebert Nkomani, former deputy PM Musalia Mudavadi, Raila and Uhuru hailed the spirit of the Kenyan people in the wake of the attack. They spoke moments after visiting the injured in various city hospitals.
Calling the attackers "cowards", Uhuru said they will be punished. The leaders implored on international community to stop issuing travel advisories against Kenya. "The criminals are all located in one place within the building. With the professionals on site, I assure Kenyans we will defeat the terrorists," said Uhuru.
He pleaded with Kenyans to remain patient. Uhuru said the attack has increased the Kenyan commitment to fight terrorism. The President said the Kenyan troops in Somalia will not be recalled. He asked Kenyans to continue to wage "a relentless moral war" through unity as security forces plan a conclusive victory.
Uhuru said as a President, a leader and a Kenyan, he felt the pain of every life snuffed including those of his nephew and his fiance: "These are young, lovely people I personally knew and loved. Many of us have lost loved ones. Let us mourn them all as one nation, and keep them always in remembrance and prayer," he said.
He said he is aware people were getting impatient with the rescue pace but pleaded for understanding. He said there were 10 to 15 armed men and women terrorists inside the building and "many unarmed, badly shaken, innocent civilians.