Kenya blames poor co-ordination for slow response to coast attacks

2014-10-06 20:59
Rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service. (File, AP)

Rangers from the Kenya Wildlife Service and Kenya Forest Service. (File, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Mombasa - Kenya's intelligence and security agencies need to improve their co-ordination and command structures to avoid a repeat of the slow response to attacks in June that killed about 65 people, a police oversight body said.

The report released by the Independent Policing Oversight Authority on Monday echoes complaints heard last year when Islamist militants attacked Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall. It also suggests the shortcomings are still not being addressed.

Gunmen killed dozens of people in the coastal town of Mpeketoni on the north coast during a night time raid in June and raided a nearby village the next night. More attacks were launched elsewhere in July.

Residents along the coast complained that security forces failed to respond swiftly to the raids and did not offer adequate protection afterwards. Thousands fled the region.

"[A] prompt response failed because of conflicting orders and lack of a centralised command structure at the County level, which could co-ordinate all the national police service resources in the region," according to a report written by the police's civilian oversight body.

"Further enquiries also ought to be conducted into why the Mpeketoni Police and Administration Police officers who were expected to be on night patrol shift had not reported for these duties by the time of the attacks," it added.

Community tensions

Former security officers and diplomats say Kenya's security forces and intelligence agencies are plagued by rivalries that undermine training by experts from the United States, Britain, Israel and other nations.

Lack of co-ordination between the army and police was also blamed when the attack on the Westgate shopping mall turned into a four-day siege in September of last year. At least 67 people were killed in that assault.

The report on Mpeketoni said ethnic, land and religious tensions among communities in the area might have been used to draw in locals to help carry out the attack.

The report said 37 of those killed in the Mpeketoni attacks were Kikuyus, the ethnic group of President Uhuru Kenyatta, who come from upland areas. Analysts have said the raids may have been aimed at stoking tension between newcomers and those who consider themselves indigenous coastal people.

The Somali Islamist group al Shabaab claimed responsibility for the Mpeketoni attacks. It has said it has launched attacks on Kenya to push the government to withdraw its troops from Somalia, which Nairobi has said it would not do.

The report also cited poor police weaponry and lack of accurate intelligence as hampering the police response to the attacks, saying some gunmen were better armed.

As well as scaring residents, the attacks have frightened tourists away from the coast, hurting an industry that is a major source of hard currency to Kenya.

Read more on:    kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.
NEXT ON NEWS24X

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

 
/News

Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.