NAIROBI: Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta announced yesterday a formal inquiry into apparent security lapses during the deadly assault on Nairobi’s Westgate mall by Islamists, in which at least 67 were killed.
As shopkeepers complained their stores in the upmarket shopping centre had been completely looted, Kenyatta announced an investigation into the security implications of the massacre claimed by the Shebab, an Al Qaeda linked Somali group.
“We are putting in place a commission of inquiry to see if we could have done things better, to see if there were lapses,” Kenyatta said at inter-faith prayers led by leaders from the Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities.
Politicians from parliament’s national security and defence and foreign relations committees visited the mall on Monday afternoon, picking their way through shattered glass and pools of congealed blood in the main hall.
Thirty-nine people are still missing, according to the Red Cross, a week after Kenyan forces brought an end to the four-day bloodbath.
Kenyan and foreign investigators continue to comb the carcass of the mall for clues on the perpetrators and their operating methods.
Asman Kamama, the chairman of the parliamentary joint committee, said the team of lawmakers was expecting to quiz security chiefs tomorrow.
The probe is expected to last several weeks at least.
Former Prime Minster Raila Odinga, speaking at the memorial, warned the attack “shows we are in for a long, drawn-out battle”, and stressed the need to bolster security. “Intelligence action not acted on serves no purpose,” Odinga said. The Shabab has vowed more attacks if Kenya does not pull its troops out of Somalia but Kenyatta offered a defiant riposte. AFP