Westagate Terrorist Attack: A Compilation of Statements
United Nation’s Secretary General Ban Ki-moon
I condemn in the strongest terms yesterday’s terrorist attack at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall. This premeditated act, targeting defenceless civilians, is totally reprehensible. The perpetrators must be brought to justice as soon as possible. Scores have been killed and wounded. I express my condolences to families of the deceased and injured, and to the loved ones of all those of other nationalities who are among the victims. Nairobi is the United Nations’ main headquarters in Africa, with a wide-ranging presence and hundreds of national and international staff. I am saddened to report that a retired staff member of UNICEF was among those killed in the attack. I offer my condolences to his family. I have spoken to President Kenyatta and I remain in close contact with the Executive Director of the United Nations at Nairobi, Ms. Sahle-Work Zewde, as this emergency continues to unfold. This is a time of shock for all Kenyans and all — including the UN family — who are proud to call Nairobi home. I express my solidarity with them at this moment of grief and loss.
The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission issued the following statement today:
“I am appalled by the brutal attack on innocent citizens at the Westgate Shopping Centre in Nairobi on Saturday. I send my sincere condolences to those who have lost family, friends and loved ones, and our sympathy to those injured and all affected by the events. The European Union offers its full support to the Kenyan authorities in dealing with the situation. We are willing to do our utmost to help prevent such attacks happening in the future. My thoughts are with all those affected by Saturday’s events.”
US Embassy Nairobi: Statement by Secretary Kerry
Today’s terrorist massacre of so many innocents is a heartbreaking reminder that there exists unspeakable evil in our world which can destroy life in a senseless instant. I want to express my deepest condolences – and the condolences of our entire nation – to the families and friends of the victims in Nairobi today. While the casualty count is still to be determined, we know already that there are at least 30 innocent men, women, and children dead and 60 injured, including several American citizens. We have offered our assistance to the Government of Kenya and stand ready to help in any way we can. Although we have no reports of any Americans killed today, we have lost a member of our own State Department family: the wife of a foreign service national working for the U.S. Agency for International Development. The men and women of USAID work courageously around the world to help people striving for a better life. While we mourn with her family today, we also pledge our commitment to do whatever we can to assist in bringing the perpetrators of this abhorrent violence to justice, and to continue our efforts to improve the lives of people across the globe. Attacks like this can’t change who we are, a people committed to peace and justice for all, but rather must reaffirm our determination to counter extremism and promote tolerance everywhere. As we prepare to bring the world’s leaders together at the United Nations next week, we are reminded again in tragedy of our common humanity.
USAID Administrator Dr. Rajiv Shah Statement
Dozens of people died yesterday at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi in a terrorist attack that was shocking in its brutality and brazenness. Among those killed was a member of our own extended family: Ruhila Adatia-Sood, wife of Ketan Sood, a Foreign Service National at our Mission in Nairobi. Ruhila was several months pregnant with their child. The thoughts and prayers of our entire Agency are with Ketan, his family, and his fellow citizens in these profoundly difficult days. Ketan has worked for nearly four years as a Senior Acquisition and Assistance Specialist with our Mission. In 2013, he was Embassy Nairobi’s Foreign Service National of the Year in a reflection of his unfailing efforts to support his colleagues and the communities we serve in Kenya and across East Africa. His wife, Ruhila, was a popular radio and TV personality, who was known throughout Kenya for her passion, vibrancy, and gift for making people smile. Our entire community has been shaken by this loss and an abhorrent act of violence in a city where so many of us have lived and in a country that so many of us love. Every day, our Agency’s development professionals come to work in some of the most challenging and dangerous circumstances in the world. Although days like this shake us to the core, they do not change our steadfast commitment to mission or our determination to work for a more peaceful and just future. We continue to keep the people of Kenya in our thoughts and prayers. Now more than ever, we are committed to stand with our own colleagues and the Kenyan people as they mourn and support them as they recover.
Prime Minister David Cameron has spoken with Kenya’s president, who briefed him on “the current situation and explained that Kenyan security forces were bringing the situation under control,” according to a statement released by 10 Downing Street. Cameron “passed on his sincere condolences and assured President Kenyatta that our thoughts were with him and all the people of Kenya at this difficult time,” it said. “The prime minister said we were ready to provide any assistance we could.”
Two French citizens are among the victims in the attack, according to a statement released by the Elysee Palace. President Francois Hollande “condemns in the strongest terms this cowardly attack and shares in grief with the family members of our countrymen,” the statement said. “The president also expresses his complete solidarity with the Kenyan authorities.”
Prime Minister Stephen Harper confirmed the deaths of two citizens, including one diplomat, in the attack. He identified the diplomat, a liaison officer for the Canadian Border Services Agency in Nairobi, as Annemarie Desloges. “Terror attacks like this seek to undermine the very values and way of life that Canadians cherish, and they reinforce the need for us to continue taking strong actions to protect the safety of Canadians no matter where they are in the world,” Harper said. “Acts of terror cannot be allowed to go unpunished. Canadian staff at our mission are offering Kenyan authorities every possible assistance to bring the perpetrators of this heinous attack to justice.”
German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle condemns attack on Nairobi shopping mall
“I sharply condemn this presumably terrorist attack on a shopping mall in Nairobi. We feel deep sympathy with the people of Kenya in this terrible moment. We share the pain of the families and friends who lost loved ones. We wish all those who were hurt a swift recovery. I hope that the perpetrators of this terrible act can be brought to justice as soon as possible.”
“Advice received from the Australian High Commission in Nairobi confirms that an Australian-UK dual national was among those killed in the terrorist attack on the Westgate shopping mall in Nairobi,” a DFAT spokeswoman said. “The Australian government deeply regrets this senseless loss of life and extends deepest sympathies to the family of the victim. It is not appropriate to name the individual.” Consular assistance will be extended to the family of the person killed. Meanwhile, a Melbourne woman and a former Adelaide man have survived the terrifying siege in an upmarket Nairobi shopping mall, as Kenyan troops remain locked in a fierce firefight with Somali militants inside.
Minister for Foreign Affairs of Japan on the Terrorist Attack in Kenya.
The Government of Japan is greatly shocked and outraged by the many deaths and injuries caused by the terrorist attack on September 21st at the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi, Kenya. Terrorism cannot be justified on any grounds or for any purpose and the Government of Japan firmly condemns these acts of terrorism. Japan expresses its deepest condolences for those who have been killed and the bereaved families and also extends its heartfelt sympathy to those wounded in the attack. Japan renews its solidarity with Kenya and will continue to cooperate with the international community to eradicate acts of terrorism and to contribute to the peace and stability of the region.
Addis Ababa, 21 September 2013: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, condemns in the strongest possible terms the dastardly terrorist attacks today against innocent civilians in a Nairobi shopping mall, which caused the loss of many lives. The Chairperson of the Commission states that this cowardly attack, for which the al Qaeda-linked Al Shabaab group has claimed responsibility, once again underlines the imperative for renewed and reinvigorated efforts to combat terrorism throughout the continent. She reiterates the AU’s commitment to continue working with its Member States and partners to this end. The Chairperson of the Commission expresses the solidarity of the AU with the government and peoples of Kenya. She presents the AU’s heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims, and wishes a speedy recovery to the injury.The Chairperson of the Commission reiterates the AU’s commitment to sustain its efforts to counter terrorism throughout the continent, as well as to pursue its efforts to stabilize the situation in Somalia and the fight against Al Shabaab, through its Mission in Somalia (AMISOM).
China strongly condemns the terrorist attack in Nairobi, capital of Kenya, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei announced Sunday. “China opposes terrorism in any form. We express deep condolences to the victims and sincere sympathy to the deceaseds’ families and the wounded,” Hong said in a press release. As a good friend of Kenya, China will continue to support Kenya’s effort to safeguard national security and maintain regional stability, Hong said. Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi understand the great seriousness to the terrorist attack. According to the released statement, one Chinese was killed and another was injured in the attack in Nairobi on Saturday. The Chinese Embassy in Nairobi has sent a working group to deal with the aftermath of the attack and take effective measures to ensure the safety of Chinese citizens and organizations in Kenya, Hong said.
Hong said China expected Kenya to make an all-out medical efforts to treat the wounded.
Chinese Foreign Ministry and the Chinese Embassy in Nairobi will pay close attention to the event and provide full assistance to Chinese nationals concerned, Hong said.
NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Sunday wrote to Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta, condemning the terror attack in Nairobi in which two Indians were among those killed and said a concerted global effort is required to control such mindless violence.
He directed the external affairs ministry to extend all help to Indian nationals who were victims of the attack at a mall in the Kenyan capital. “The Prime Minister has sent a letter of condolence to Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta condemning the attack at a shopping mall in Nairobi,” the PMO said here. In his letter, Singh said “concerted global effort is required to control such mindless violence.” Two Indians, including an eight-year-old child, have died in the attack and four others have been injured. The dead Indians have been identified as 40-year-old Sridhar Natarajan, employee of a local pharmaceutical firm and Master Paramshu Jain, son of a Branch Manager of Bank of Baroda (Kenya Limited). The injured Indians are Sridhar Natarajan’s wife Manjula Sridhar, Paramshu Jain’s mother Mukta Jain and 12-year-old Poorvi Jain and Natarajan Ramachandran, an employee of Flamingo Duty Free, Nairobi. About 10 to 15 masked gunmen yesterday stormed the packed shopping mall, asked Muslims to leave and opened indiscrimate firing. Somalia’s al-Qaida-inspired Shebab rebels claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was in direct retaliation for Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia, where African Union troops are battling the Islamists.
The Somali government has condemned Saturday’s terrorist attack in Kenya which killed 54 people including children. Expressing his condolences to the Kenyan people, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared in Mogadishu on Sunday: “These heartless acts against defenceless civilians, including innocent children, are beyond the pale and cannot be tolerated. We stand shoulder to shoulder with Kenya in its time of grief for these lives lost and the many injured.” Mohamud added: “We in Somalia know only too well the human costs of violence like this. We send a strong message of solidarity with the Kenyan government, our valued partners in the campaign to bring peace to Somalia.” The Somali group al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for the killings at the Westgate Shopping mall, citing Kenya’s troop involvement in Somalia as the reason for the onslaught. Meanwhile latest reports suggest that the standoff at the mall continues as Kenyan soldiers backed by Israeli commandos take on the militants whose numbers have been put at 15.
Supkem distances Islam from raid
The top Muslim leadership in the country on Sunday condemned the massacre of innocent civilians at Nairobi’s Westgate Mall at the weekend. They described as “heinous” the attack by the gunmen, who seized the shopping mall on Saturday. “We condemn in the strongest terms the attacks on peace-loving Kenyans and our international guests who have chosen to live and work in Kenya,” said the statement of the clergy read by Supkem secretary general Adan Wachu. The leaders were addressing the press at Jamia Mosque in Nairobi. “We send our deep condolences to the families of the bereaved and those wounded in the on-going siege at the Westgate mall,” he added. Mombasa’s Senator Hassan Omar urged Kenyans to remain united in the face of the grief and reject any attempts to divide the country along religious lines. Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (Supkem) national vice-chairman Alhaji Abdullahi Kiptanui distanced Islam from the attacks as he called on Kenyans to remain calm and united. Mr Kiptanui said Al-Shabaab, who have since claimed to be responsible for the attack, were a terrorist organisation and should not involve Islam. “Terrorism is the work of the devil. It cannot come from God. We condemn the attack in the strongest terms possible and convey our condolences on behalf of all Muslims to those who lost their friends and families.” Mr Kiptanui was speaking to journalists in Kericho County. Hundreds of people were held hostage by the criminals by the Kenyan security forces have managed to free some while many more were still in the terrorists’ hands by press time. The terrorists have killed 59 0f the hostages. The Supkem leader said the terror group could be receiving aid from some governments, which enabled it to acquire weapons such as grenades and AK-47 rifles used in the attack. Mr Kiptanui praised the police and the Kenya Defence Forces for evacuating hundreds of victims. “I call on all leaders, including those in the opposition, to come together and find the way forward. “As religious leaders, we are going to come up with plans for a national prayer rally involving all religious groups,” he said. Former director of the Criminal Investigations Department Francis Sang urged the government to ruthlessly deal with criminals. He was speaking in Kericho at the weekend during the signing ceremony for his latest book, A Noble but Onerous Duty.
National Council of Churches of Kenya (NCCK)
The National Council of Churches of Kenya have with great sadness followed the hostage incident at Westgate Shopping Mall. We are especially sorrowed that so many innocent Kenyans have lost their lives following this unfortunate incident. In this regard, we join the nation in sending our heartfelt condolences to all the families and friends who lost their loved ones. . May God, the creator of humanity, give you consolation and comfort. Let your hearts be encouraged by the words of Isaiah 53: 4 “Surely he took our infirmities and carried our sorrows”. Our hearts are also in pain because of the scores who were hurt in this senseless violence. May the God of all mercies grant you quick recovery from the physical, emotional and psychological wounds that were inflicted on you. The NCCK thanks all Kenyan security agents who gallantly moved in to rescue hundreds of Kenyans who had been taken hostage by the gunmen at the Westgate Shopping Mall. We also thank all the emergency response staff who played a role in saving the lives of the injured. The NCCK also condemns this attack with the strongest terms possible, and it is our prayer that God will bring His divine justice on the perpetrators of this heinous crime. Finally, we rally all our member churches to dedicate time tomorrow to pray for the bereaved, the injured, the affected and indeed the greater nation. May God bless Kenya. May God protect all Kenyans.
Rev Canon Peter Karanja
Media Council of Kenya Statement on Coverage of Westgate Tragedy
The Media Council of Kenya joins others Kenyans in condemning the heinous act by suspected terrorists that has led to the loss of lives following the attack on the Westgate Mall in Nairobi on Saturday, 21st September, 2013. The Council sends its condolences to the families who lost their loved ones including (the kiss TV journalist Ruhila Adatya) and wishes a quick recovery to the casualties. We wish to commend the media for the courage and commitment they have shown in ensuring that Kenyans are updated on the events at the scene of crime and the professional manner in which the news has been conveyed under such dire conditions.
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