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Govt sends relief to victims of Mpeketoni attack

20 June 2014, 08:01

Nairobi - The government on Thursday stepped up distribution of food supplies to the victims of the Mpeketoni and Poromoko attacks as two more bodies were recovered.

The bodies are believed to be drivers of the hijacked vehicles used by gunmen during the attack on Sunday and Monday nights that left 60 people dead.

"Additional two bodies were recovered on Thursday near Witu, bringing the death toll to 60. The bodies of the victims have been preserved at the Mpeketoni sub county hospital," Kenya Red Cross Society (KRCS) Director of External Relations and Resource Mobilization Jacqueline Waita said in Nairobi.

Waita's remarks came in the wake of twin attacks in the coastal region which have been blamed on local political networks despite Al-Shabaab claiming responsibility.

Waita said a total number of 64 enquiries were reported by the end of Wednesday, of which 56 closed positively and 8 cases are still pending.

"The Psychosocial Support Services (PSS) are ongoing among the bereaved families, where 18 group sessions and 30 one-on-one sessions have been conducted, reaching to 120 persons with emotional management and grief counseling services," she said.

Waita said two IDPs camps in the affected location with 506 and 100 households respectively continue to receive relief aid from government, the Kenya Red Cross and well wishers.

"With the support from well-wishers, KRCS received assorted food and some non-food items which were distributed among the affected populations in Mpeketoni town," Waita said.

The government has beefed up security in the Mpeketoni area, a farming community to hunt for the gunmen who attacked the town.

The town was relatively calm and slowly coming to life on Thursday, with some of the businesses that had been closed since the attack now open.

The police officers were searching through nearby Boni forest, where some of the attackers are believed to be hiding.

Meanwhile, lawmakers from the Coast region on Thursday assured President Uhuru Kenyatta of full support in restoring peace and security in Mpeketoni and the region at large.

Speaking during a meeting with Kenyatta in Nairobi, the legislators strongly condemned the Mpeketoni attacks and pledged to work with the government in uniting the residents.

The Group's Chairman, Gideon Mung'aro, said the Members of Parliament have agreed to move from constituency to constituency preaching peace and unity.

The MPs invited the President to accompany them in their trips to spread the message of peace to the residents in the Coast region.

"We will work with you and your government in uniting the people. We will tour the whole region to tell residents not to allow themselves to be incited into violence," Mung'aro said.

They expressed concern that insecurity was hurting the tourism industry –which is the backbone of the region – and vowed to do all it takes to ensure the problem is addressed urgently.

The legislators emphasized that they will not sit back and watch the region being impoverished by divisive politics and security threats.

The legislators also appealed to the government to move with speed and resolve the land problem at the Coast. They lamented that most of the challenges affecting the region were emanating from land issues.

President Kenyatta said the Jubilee government will remain focused on ensuring Kenyans are united and live peacefully.

He welcomed the legislators' promise to work with the government in development, saying that is one way of creating jobs for the youth and ensuring residents receive efficient services.

"As leaders, our main duty is the unity of all Kenyans and serve them without discrimination. In doing so, we will discourage negative elements from disrupting peace," Kenyatta said.

The president said the government has started addressing the land problem in the Coast region and will not stop until it is completely solved.

- Xinhua

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