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Politicians bury differences amid terror attacks

23 September 2013, 09:57 Justine Njoroge and Remmy Murule

Nairobi - In a rare gesture of unity, leaders across the political divide put aside their differences and jointly condemned the recent terror attacks.

The solidarity came in the form of a press briefing that was held in Nairobi in the wake of the deadly attacks at the Wesgate Mall in the city.

President Uhuru Kenyatta, former Prime Minister and long time rival, Raila Odinga, his counterpart Moses Wetangula, and the United Democratic Forum (UDF) party leader, Musalia Mudavadi, attended the event.

It came as spectacle to viewers who could not imagine such unity amid the tensions characterising Kenya's political landscape.

“We have experienced acts of terrorism before and defeated it and I am sure we will also defeat this one,” said the President at the State House.

“Terrorism happens everywhere, in Iraqi, Israel, United States, United Kingdom and Spain and therefore there is no need for issuing travelling advisories,” added Odinga during the briefing.

The leaders termed the attack as an act of cowardice that would not tear the country apart. The President vowed to deal with the attackers "firmly and swiftly" as rescue operations continued at the mall.

This press briefing came days just after the US issued a travel advisory to its citizens.

The embassy asked them to remain indoors and avoid crowded places.

The leaders claimed the country relies on tourism, which is a major economic pillar, and it would be "unfair" to issue the travel advisory especially at this time when the country needed it more than before.

Kenya has in recent years been polarised politically.

The 2007/08 elections left scored dead and thousands displaced. Kenyatta and Deputy William Ruto are facing International Criminal Court charges of crimes against humanity as a result of the disturbances.

The recent polls were held amid a tense environment and allegations of rigging. - CAJ News


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