News of Sunday’s Mpeketoni terror attack made headlines across the world on Tuesday even as Kenyans in the Diaspora urged the Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph ole Lenku to take full responsibility and resign.
International media houses gave prominence to the gruesome attack that left dozens dead and hundreds injured at the Kenyan coastal town.
Some questioned the resolve of the government to tackle terrorism as Kenyans in different parts of the world posted messages of condolences to the families of those killed in attack.
Some took to social media asking Mr Lenku to admit that he “has failed, relinquish the Security docket and save Kenya more bloodshed.”
“Why can’t President Uhuru Kenyatta listen to wise counsel and replace the Ole Lenku with a more competent person to man the Security docket?” Jose Maina posed on Twitter.
“How many more deaths will it take for the President to eat humble pie and admit that he got the wrong man for a critical Ministry?” asked Jeniffer Katimi.
“In the civilized world, when something like this happens, officials resign. Why doesn’t it happen in our beloved country? Does the president think that is a sign of weakness?” John Kamanu of Orange County, California said on Facebook.
According to the New York Times, some embassies in Nairobi are contemplating pulling out their staff.
“Western embassies in Kenya are now considering withdrawing personnel as many Western diplomats and Kenyans alike fear security services are too corrupt and disorganised to stop the Shabaab,” said the paper in a report published on Tuesday.
“The recent assassinations of several Islamist clerics, who many Kenyans believe were killed by secret government hit squads, and government roundups of ethnic Somalis have heightened mistrust and anger among Kenya’s sizable Muslim population.
“Many Kenyans fear the battle against the Shabaab will be a long and unpleasant one, and already it has dented the economy, with tourism down significantly this year,” it added.
The Washington Post said US ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec has warned the embassy staff against visiting the coastal region.
“The attack highlights the growing incidents of Islamic extremist violence in a country that was once viewed as the bastion of stability in East Africa, drawing tourists from around the world for safaris and beach holidays.
“The US ambassador made Kenya’s entire coastal region off-limits for embassy employees after the attack,” the New York Times said.
Another newspaper in Australia said the US, UK, France, Australia, and Canada have all upgraded their terror threat warnings.
“US Marines behind sandbag bunkers are now stationed on the roof of the US Embassy in Nairobi,” the Australian, quoting Associated Press (AP), wire said.
A message on the BBC website said: “Are you in Mpeketoni? Have you been affected by the recent activities? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org using the title ‘Mpeketoni’.”
The terrorist attack comes days after the UK government closed its consulate in Mombasa citing heightened security threats.
Last month, the US said corruption among Kenyan government officials is a major impediment in the war on terrorism in the East African region.
“Endemic corruption, limited resources and insufficient training of law enforcement officers are to blame for the rise in cases of terrorism in Kenya,” the Department of State said in an annual report released on May 1, in Washington DC.
It also cited lack of meaningful engagement by the Kenyan government to address radicalisation and extremism.
Since the Westgate Mall attack in September last year, President Kenyatta has been under pressure from a section of Kenyans to replace Mr Ole Lenku at the Interior Ministry with some citing lack of experience in security matters.
Some members of Parliament have even threatened to impeach the CS.