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Friday, 29 November, 2002, 14:06 GMT
Kenya's press asks 'Why us?'
Soldier at the scene of the hotel blast
The East African Standard questions security levels

Kenya's newspapers are all reflecting the same opinion.

Why, they ask, has Kenya become a target of international terrorism even though Kenya has no direct connection with the conflicts breeding it.

The Daily Nation provides some of its own answers. Kenya, it says, is affluent enough by African standards to have western investments and interests, but is without enough money to buy worldwide security.

It is sufficiently democratic and sufficiently corrupt to allow the terrorists and their equipment to move around, the newspaper says.

It compares the amount of money which Kenya has to counter terrorism with the amount the Bush administration in the United States has at its disposal.

Given that Kenyans only have a handful of dollars to throw at Osama Bin Laden's well-funded terrorists, Kenyans seem to be facing a heavier burden than they can bear, commentator Mutuma Mathiu writes.

Security concerns

But the editorial in the East African Standard says that Kenya's minister in charge of internal security has urgent questions to answer.

Referring to the 1998 bombing of the American Embassy in Nairobi in which more than 200 people died, it says that once bitten, Kenya should not have allowed a repeat.

Scene of the hotel blast, next to a beach in Mombassa
'Tourism big victim of attack' ran a Daily Nation headline
How, it asks, did the perpetrators of the Mombasa mayhem find their way without attracting the attention of the security intelligence.

The newspaper also suggests that the authorities should urgently look at relocating the Israeli embassy, which currently stands in a busy part of town, to a less populated place.

The Kenyan papers carry interviews with various ministers seeking to reassure people about their security.

The Daily Nation quotes the Vice President, Musalia Mudavadi, as saying that the security of Kenyans and all visitors is assured.

But a headline on the next page - Tourism big victim of attack - reflects concern that the crucial tourist industry on which many Kenyans depend for their livelihood might take a blow.

The Kenyan Tourist Board has urged the government to find resources to counter the negative impact of the attack.

One tourism boss is quoted as saying the terrorist attack should not be read as an assault on Kenya's tourist industry or on the country. It is clear that the attack was aimed at Israel, he said.

Victims remembered

All the newspapers remember the victims of the attack.

The East African Standard reports that President Daniel arap Moi sent a message of condolence to the bereaved families.

Nine Kenyan hotel workers died alongside the Israeli victims.

The Daily Nation extends its sympathies to those who will carry physical and emotional scars from the attack for the rest of their lives.


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23 Nov 02 | Country profiles
29 Nov 02 | Media reports
29 Nov 02 | Politics
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