NAIROBI, Kenya, May 2 – The killing of Al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden by US forces, on Sunday night, sparked a universal sigh of relief from America\’s allies.
Announcing the death of the planet\’s most wanted man, President Barack Obama said "justice has been done," while his predecessor George W. Bush hailed it as a "momentous" achievement.
In Kenya, President Mwai Kibaki praised the efforts of the US armed forces in this historic triumph in the war on terror.
"I commend all those people behind the successful tracking down and killing of Osama bin Laden. His killing is an act of justice to those Kenyans who lost their lives and the many more who suffered injuries," said President Kibaki.
Bin Laden\’s death comes almost 13 years since the terrorist bombings in Nairobi, believed to have been orchestrated by Bin Laden himself.
The 1998 bomb attacks on the United States Embassy in Nairobi claimed the lives of over two hundred people.
Government spokesperson Dr Alfred Mutua separately said the death of Osama bin Laden was a defining moment in the fight against terrorism.
"Kenya was the first country to be attacked by Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden\’s death comes as a relief to many of the victims of the bombings in East Africa," said Dr Mutua.
This year will mark the 10 year anniversary of the September 11 attacks in New York that killed 3,000 victims and launched the subsequent war in Afghanistan.
President Bush said the fight against terror will continue, "but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message: No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."
Israel was fulsome in its praise of the United States, it\’s crucial security ally.
"The state of Israel joins together in the joy of the American people after the liquidation of bin Laden," said a statement from the premier\’s office.
"Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulates US President Barack Obama for this victory for justice, liberty and the common values of democratic nations which fought side by side against terrorism."
British Prime Minister David Cameron said it would "bring great relief to people across the world."
"It is a great success that he has been found and will no longer be able to pursue his campaign of global terror," Cameron said in a statement.
On the home front Dr Mutua added that Kenyans should be vigilant as terrorism is still a viable threat, despite bin Laden\’s death.
"As a country and a region, we are realistic that terrorism is an ideology that will not end overnight due to Osama bin Laden\’s death, but hope that his death will be the beginning of the end of terrorism. We have to remain diligent and work with our partners to fight this international crime."
Follow us on TWITTER @CapitalFM_Kenya