Western nations censured in Kenya as country grapples with terrorism
20 May 2014, 21:05
Nairobi - Kenya feels isolated and abandoned by Western allies in the hour need as terror attacks rise in the country.
The East African nation had expected its Western partners that include France, U.S., Australia and Britain to stand by it and help fight terrorists but the countries seem to have gone against the spirit of friendship.
Their moves to issue travel advisories warning their citizens against travelling to Kenya have been construed as acts of betrayal.
The advisories have angered Kenyans, who have interpreted them as seeking to boost acts of terrorism, which aim at sabotaging the economy of the country.
The advisories issued last week warned citizens against travelling to Kenya and those in the country to keep off public places that include shopping malls, beaches, bus terminus and churches.
What angered Kenya most is the evacuation of about 1,000 tourists from Mombasa over fears that terrorists may attack the region.
Britain has evacuated their nationals from Mombasa as international tour agencies cancelled other bookings to Kenya following issuance of travel advisories.
"We will develop Kenya ourselves. Even if they take the tourists, we will look for others from elsewhere. We will not be cowed," President Uhuru Kenyatta said as he expressed frustration against western nations.
Joining him in attacking western nations were Members of Parliament, who faulted the countries of seeking to sabotage Kenya's economy.
"These bans will create economic meltdown as many people employed in the tourism sector will lose their jobs as tourists will keep off the country," said opposition politicians Agostino Neto and Isaac Mwaura.
They termed terrorism as not only a Kenyan problem since the Western nations have also been hit by attacks.
"They should join us in fighting Al-Shabaab. It is the only when we can defeat them. Warning their people against coming here will not help," they said.
Many citizens believe that terrorism indeed is a not a Kenyan problem and the country is paying the price of associating with western nations.
As they have done on many occasions when the country is facing an international issue, Kenyans used the social media to attack western nations over travel advisories.
"They have made us appear as if we are at war. Indeed, choices have consequences," wrote Fredki on Twitter on Monday.
"When the US was attacked, we did not issue travel advisory against them. We expect them to return the favor," said Vicky Galo.
"If Kenya is that unsafe, why is it that we are not seeking refuge in Uganda," noted David.
"If we were not friends with the West, we would not be fighting terrorism. It is their problem," said Peterson Nanga. Most major terrorists' attacks in Kenya have targeted western interests that include an embassy and a shopping mall.
The 1997 terror attack, which is the worst to ever occur in Kenya, happened at U.S. embassy in Nairobi. Over 200 people lost their lives in the attack.
And last September, terrorists attacked Westgate Mall, which is owned by Israeli investors. Over 68 people lost their lives in the incident.