Political Violence not al-Shabaab behind Kenya Attack - Kenyatta



Kenyan President, Uhuru Kenyatta on Tuesday blamed a recent attack that left 49 people dead on politically motivated ethnic violence.

This pronouncement was made in spite the fact that the Somali radical Islamist group al-Shabaab has taken responsibility for the assault.

Kenyatta said the attack in Mpeketoni, 50 kilometres from the tourist resort of Lamu on Sunday, was a well planned, orchestrated, politically motivated ethnic violence against the Kenyans. He said it was not an al-Shabaab terror attack because evidence indicated that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of the hideous crime.

Kenyatta said the Kenyans, and the government in particular, has over the last several weeks observed frenzied political rallies with obvious acts of incitement, lawlessness and possible violence.

He warned that the rhetoric was unacceptable and would not be condoned.

"My government will enhance security in Lamu, we are also focusing attention on actors and in other flash points around the country," he said.

Kenyatta had previously come under criticism for not making a public comment on the attack. Observers expressed concern that the president's speech could fuel the very same political and ethnic violence he warned against.

They said many of those killed in Mpeketoni were Kikuyus, members of Kenyatta's ethnic group. They noted that over 50 gunmen rampaged through Mpeketoni, gunning people down and slitting their throats, setting buildings on fire and killing patients in hospital beds on Sunday.

They said the attack was the biggest of its kind in Kenya since September, when an al-Shabaab assault on a Nairobi shopping mall left 67 people dead.

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