, NAIROBI, Oct 26 – Kenya’s president on Saturday warned against attempts to smear the security forces, who have been accused of looting during an Islamist attack on a Nairobi mall last month.
“We should not be too quick to vilify our security forces because they work hard for the country’s safety sometimes even endangering their lives,” Uhuru Kenyatta said.
He defended his police chief David Kimaiyo, who earlier this week threatened to arrest journalists after Kenyan media reported on the alleged looting during the four-day siege at the Westgate mall.
The police had summoned for questioning journalists from a channel that had aired security camera footage purportedly showing soldiers stealing goods from the upmarket shopping centre.
The Committee to Protect Journalists warned of a “downward spiral in terms of media freedoms” and the uproar among Kenya’s vibrant press had led the police to go back on the order.
“The police chief was only warning journalists against giving too much coverage to terrorists,” Kenyatta said Saturday.
The September 21 attack claimed by Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shebab group left 67 dead, including Kenyatta’s own nephew, and shocked the east African nation.