Joint Statement on the Westgate Siege by Peter Kenneth and Ronald Osumba

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Joint Statement on the Westgate Siege

We send our deepest condolences to all those who lost their loved ones in the cowardly and senseless Westgate attack by terrorists that lasted over four days. We pray that the Almighty God will rest the departed souls in eternal peace.

We also wish a quick recovery to all those who were injured in the unfortunate attack as we commiserate with all the Kenyan people and friends of Kenya who are traumatised by this unfortunate event.

We shall remain forever grateful to our men and women in uniform who put their lives in harm’s way to rescue our people and bring this drama to an end. Under the leadership of the Commander-in Chief, our security agencies demonstrated professionalism and steadfastness in dealing with the crisis. They have stood as a symbol of our strength and made us all proud.

We recognise the many Kenyans from all walks of life who donated blood and money to assist the victims as well as those who came out to support the responders. We especially note with pride the M-Pesa Initiative that raised over Kes 60 million in three days to assist the rescue and recovery efforts.

We salute all the humanitarian and emergency response teams especially the Kenya Red Cross Society and the St. John’s Ambulances who assisted in evacuating the injured.

Many thanks also to all the friends of Kenya from across the globe who have stood with us in these trying times.

Despite our pain and our loss, in our unity, we have shown the misguided and cowardly individuals who carried out the attack and those who sent them that the Kenyan spirit is resolute and unshakable. They may have caused us to bleed and cry, but they have not shaken us; we remain steadfast as a people.

By pulling together as Kenyans in this tragedy, we have shown our unity, courage and love for one another to the whole world. These are values that we must carry forth with us and demonstrate even in times of peace and calm.

In our history as a nation, we have been tested many times before but every time we have come out stronger and more resolute. This time must be no different. We must come out of this attack with a stronger resolve to weed out criminals elements that seek to threaten our way of life and ensure that we never have to go through such painful experiences again.

The deaths and the pain that we have suffered as a nation must not be in vain. Rather, this must be a starting point for a more focussed, thorough and stronger security framework that will eliminate all threats and guarantee all people living within Kenyan boarders of a secure environment that will allow them to pursue their dreams. In particular, we appeal to the National Intelligence Service to invest more in intelligence gathering for forestall future acts of terror. Security within our boarders must never be negotiable.

Similarly, as a responsible member of the community of nations, we must continue to play our role in dealing with terrorism in the region. We must never relent on our war on terror. Our engagement in Somalia must therefore continue unabated. We have to show these criminals and the world that we are a nation that will guard her peace jealously and firmly.

We urge all Kenyans to continue to hold together and to support the bereaved and the injured.

Let’s also work together to heal the wounds that remain after the fire has died down.

We are one. We are Kenya.

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