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Statement by President Uhuru Kenyatta on Garissa University attack

Uhuru Kenyatta

President Uhuru Kenyatta addressing the State in a past function

My Fellow Kenyans,

Our Nation is in a profound state of mourning following the heinous attack and mindless slaughter of147 Kenyans in Garissa at Garissa University College on Thursday 2nd April 2015. It was the most lethal terrorist attack on Kenya since the 1998 US Embassy bombing. During the day-long ordeal, the terrorists took more than 800 students hostage; thankfully, more than 600 were rescued.

Our security forces responded and killed 4 of the terrorists while arresting 5. I commend the three officers who paid the ultimate price in their selfless service to Kenya.

My compatriots,

I stand before you, with profound sadness at a time of great sorrow forKenya.

Let us take a moment to remember those who died and pray for the eternal repose of their souls. Let us also pray for those who were injured and for solace to all affected families. Today, villages and towns throughout Kenya are in mourning.

As we mourn together, and pray together for the fallen and for this our precious Republic of Kenya, I declare three days of national mourning during which our flag shall fly at half-mast.

I also want to assure the families, that government will provide all possible support to the victims.

We have received many messages of condolence and strong expressions of support and goodwill from our friends and people of goodwill across the globe.

In this regard, we wish to thank our brothers and sisters from the East African Community and IGAD, the African continent, as well as global leaders including the Secretary General of the United Nations, the President of the United States of America, and His Holiness Pope Francis, amongst others. This solidarity underlines the oneness of humanity and consensus that terrorism is a global threat requiring robust international partnerships.

To the families and friends of the survivors, and indeed all Kenyans, I want you to know that our security forces are pursuing leads on the remaining accomplices. We shall employ all means at our disposal to bring the perpetrators to justice. We are also in active pursuit of the mastermind of the attack, and have placed a reward for the information leading to his capture.

To the students who survived the attack on Garissa University College, I want you to understand our nation’s deep regret that such a calamity should befall you in your formative years. However difficult, you must remain resolved to finish your studies and graduate. Because in doing so, you will demonstrate to yourselves, and to the world, that terror and evil can never prevail over the hard work and resilience that characterises the Kenyan spirit.

In the next few days, as funerals are held across the length and breadth of Kenya, we will be filled with anguish and great anger. During this holy period of Easter, the families and communities of the fallen should take solace in recalling that after the evil of the cross on Friday, and when the Devil thought he had triumphed, Sunday’s hope arrived. As we remember those that fell at Garissa, we recognise that the resurrection of Jesus demonstrates that the power of hatred and violence will never prevail. We shall prevail.

I urge every Kenyan, every church and every local leader to speak up for our unity and ensure that our justified anger does not spill over and lead to the victimisation of anyone. This would only play into the hands of the terrorists. Let us remain in unity as we safeguard our peace and stability.

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