Kenya police: Obama visit a security nightmare

2015-07-28 21:23
(Evan Vucci, AP)

(Evan Vucci, AP)

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

Nairobi - Kenya's police chief on Tuesday admitted Tuesday that US President Barack Obama's weekend visit to Kenya was a security "nightmare", but said the incident-free trip to Nairobi had proved a major confidence booster for the country.

"My nightmare was that someone might sneak in and do something nasty," police Inspector General Joseph Boinnet said, referring to fears of attacks by al-Qaeda-affiliated Shabaab militants from across the border in Somalia.

"But thank God what we had put in place worked and we are determined to keep them away from our borders, keep them away from our cities and keep this country safe," he added.

"We actually surprised ourselves," Boinnet said, asserting that Kenyan security officials were able to keep up with the demands of the US Secret Service.

"Obviously they're much more advanced than us in terms of resources, but in our own little way we do our level best," he said.

"What we learnt is paying attention to the minutest detail."

Subjugate the natives

He also said working with the Americans had given Kenyan police - much maligned by the public due to endemic corruption and incompetence - a valuable lesson in conduct and how it needed to reform and overcome its poor image.

"The police force... was created by the British to subjugate the natives," he said. "We are no longer natives and we're no longer a force but a service. However, the reform process is still ongoing."

Obama spent two days and two nights in Nairobi, the first-ever visit to the east African nation by a sitting US president.

Kenya was the birthplace of Obama's father, making the trip especially emotional for both Obama and many Kenyans.

Kenya's image as a regional hub has taken a battering in recent years due to political violence, rising crime and attacks by Somalia's Shabaab militants.

The group were at the centre of security concerns during the visit, but there were no reported incidents in Kenya during Obama's stay.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  barack obama  |  kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation! 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. 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
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

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


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 network.


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.