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China assures support to Kenya in fighting terrorism

The assurance was made by Beijing’s top diplomat Wang Yi. Photo/CFM-FILE.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – China has assured of the county’s commitment to fully supporting Kenya in the war against terrorism, in the wake of a deadly attack in the capital Nairobi where 21 people were killed.

In a translated message to Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma, Wang Yi, China’s State Councilor and Foreign Minister conveyed the country’s condolences and sympathies to affected families who lost loved ones in the attack at 14 Riverside Drive Complex.

“China firmly opposes all forms of terrorism, and will continue to offer unwavering support to Kenya’s efforts to fight against terrorism and maintain national security,” said Wang, Beijing’s top diplomat, who is also a member of the 19th CPC Central Committee.

Soon after the attack that occurred on Tuesday last week, the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi issued a statement condemning “all forms of terrorism” and hailed the swift response by the Kenyan security agencies in containing the situation.

“We would like to express our deepest sympathy with the victims and their families. We will stand firmly with the Kenyan government and Kenyan people in their fight against terrorism,” the embassy statement stated.

The solidarity statement by China’s Foreign Minister Wang followed a briefing to foreign diplomats stationed in Nairobi, where she assured them of the government’s commitment to fight terror, while seeking their support.

Juma told the foreign envoys the al-Shabaab-linked terrorists who launched the attack targeted the world because the hotel and office complex on 14 Riverside Drive hosted a number of global establishments and international interests.

“While this attack on the Dusit Complex was on the Kenyan territory, it was targeted at the world. The complex hosts a range international establishments and interests,” she said.

CS Juma when she briefed diplomats in Nairobi last week. Photo/MFA-FILE

Juma who was accompanied by Cabinet colleagues Fred Matiangi (Interior) and Najib Balala (Tourism), and National Police Service Inspector General Joseph Boinnet said more than ever, concerted efforts by the international community were critical to degrading terror groups.

“The attack is a clear reminder that the terrorists’ objective is to change the way of life of other societies is alive. It is a reminder that no country is immune to international terrorism,” the CS told the diplomatic corps.

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Ten suspects have so far been arraigned in court over the attack, with police now allowed to detain them for 30 days to complete the investigations.

Five of the ten suspects arraigned in court over the attack. Photo/CFM-FILE.

The Somali-based extremist group Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for last Tuesday’s tragic incident saying in a statement aired on its radio arm, Andalus, it carried out the attack in response to a decision by United States President Donald Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

The terrorist group said in the statement released last Wednesday the economic interests of the US and Israel will suffer as long as the Trump administration continues with policies it termed as detrimental to Palestinians, including the December 6, 2017 proclamation by Trump.

Guatemala had joined the US in moving its embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem by May 2018 with Paraguay’s foreign ministry backtracking on its earlier announcement to follow suit.

Al-Shabaab said the attack on 14 Riverside Drive was executed with instructions from al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri. The terrorist group bares allegiance to al-Qaida.

Two of the terrorists captured on CCTV during the attack. All the five terrorists were killed during the siege.

The United Nations Security Council condemned the attack while calling for those involved to be brought to justice.
“The members of the Security Council reaffirmed that terrorism in all its forms and manifestations constitutes one of the most serious threats to international peace and security,” a statement released by the UNSC press office last Wednesday read.

Among those killed in last week’s attack is a security officer from the elite recce company of the General Service Unit who was engaged in a 20-hour operation that saw four assailants neutralized with over 700 hostages were liberated.

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