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Kibaki: Kenya will not tolerate terror

NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 20 – The government has reiterated that it is not going to tolerate activities of terrorists and will do everything within its power to protect its borders.

Speaking during this year’s Mashujaa day celebrations, President Kibaki said Kenya would not be cowed by the Al Shabaab, who have continuously issued threats of reprisal attacks.

President Kibaki says the Government through its defense forces will provide adequate security in all parts of the country.

“We will defend our territorial integrity through all measures necessary to ensure peace and stability. Our security forces have begun operations within and outside of our borders against militants who have sought to destabilize our country, President Kibaki said.

Kenyan soldiers entered Somalia on October 16 after officials blamed the kidnappings on al-Shabaab, which has pledged allegiance to al-Qaeda. Marie Dedieu, a 66-year-old disabled French woman who was abducted from a house near the northern Kenyan town of Lamu by Somali gunmen has died in the hands of her kidnappers.

Kenya’s military stormed across the border to support Somali government troops in a risky attempt to secure the frontier and its hinterland. The operation follows a wave of kidnappings by suspected militants that have threatened the East African country’s multi-million dollar tourism industry.

President Kibaki however stressed that security forces alone will not achieve the country’s Security, urging Kenyans to remain vigilant and on high alert of any suspicious activity in the country.

“We should all be vigilant and as true patriots, ensure that we identify the bad elements among us. The hospitality of the Kenyan people must never be abused by some bad elements,” he said.

Prime Minister Raila Odinga said nobody would be allowed to tamper with the security of this country, as Kenyans have a duty to protect it.

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The PM said this today while addressing Mashujaa day celebrations at the Nyayo national stadium.

“We salute those brave men and women, united behind our national flag, who are putting their lives on the line so that your life and mine may be secure. Our prayers are with them, their families relatives and friends’’, he said.

At the same time, the President highlighted the challenges Kenyans are facing because of increased inflation and the depreciating exchange rate of the Shilling.

He said the Ministry of Finance together with the Central Bank of Kenya have taken steps to tighten our monetary and fiscal policies.

The measures taken include the lowering of the foreign exchange exposure limit of commercial banks, the raising of the Central Bank Rate and the immediate review of Government expenditure to cut back on non-priority areas.

“We believe that these actions are restoring confidence in the market and bringing stability to the exchange rate and will significantly reduce inflation,” he said.

He underscored that the country’s economic fundamentals remain sound with the economy expanded by 4.9 percent in the first quarter of this year, driven largely by improved productivity in the construction, financial services, transport and communication sectors.

This performance was higher than the 4.3 per cent realized during a similar period last year.

I call upon our business community, players in the financial markets and all Kenyans to remain calm as we seek to stabilize the current situation,” he said.

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