President Uhuru Kenyatta Tuesday said the two attacks in Mpeketoni were politically orchestrated and said Al Shaabab terrorists were not to blame for the killings of more than 60 people in Lamu County at the weekend.
He pointed an accusing finger at leaders who have heightened political tension in the country and vowed that the Jubilee administration will not tolerate “hate mongers, reckless leaders and negative propagandists”.
Signalling a tough approach in the aftermath of the killings, President Kenyatta suspended all provincial administrators and security agents in Mpeketoni, Kibaoni and Mapromoko shopping centres and accused them of abdicating their duty. He also said some of them will be charged in court for negligence.
While 50 people were killed during the Sunday night attack, a subsequent raid on Monday night claimed more than 10 lives with news agencies claiming that at least 50 people could not be accounted for.
In his televised address, Mr Kenyatta said that intelligence on the Mpeketoni attack was made available to the Lamu security team in advance but they ignored it.
“The attack in Lamu was well planned, orchestrated and politically motivated ethnic violence against a Kenyan community, with the intention of profiling and evicting them for political reasons. This, therefore, was not an Al Shabaab terrorist attack,” he said.
However, the Somali-based Al Shaabab terrorists, who have links with Al-Qaeda, claimed responsibility for both attack saying it was in revenge for the oppression of Muslims in Kenya and the killing of Muslim scholars at the Coast.
President Kenyatta had argued that recent heightened political rhetoric “laced with ethnic profiling of some communities” had likely incited some people and could be responsible for the attacks. This, he said, had sowed seeds of hate, intolerance and fanaticism.
“Evidence indicates that local political networks were involved in the planning and execution of the heinous attacks. This also played into the opportunist networks of other criminal gangs,” he said.