- The Washington Times - Friday, April 3, 2015

President Obama called the president of Kenya Friday afternoon to express condolences for the massacre of 147 people at a college by Islamist terrorists this week, and said the violence won’t deter his trip to the land of his father later this year.

Mr. Obama called President Uhuru Kenyatta from Air Force One on his way back to Washington from Utah, and described the attacks at Garissa University College as “heinous” and “despicable.” He reiterated that he looks forward to visiting Nairobi in July, when the two leaders will discuss “how to strengthen counterterrorism cooperation and continue to work together to build a safer and more prosperous future for Kenya and the broader region,” the White House said.

In an apparent reference to his father being Kenyan, Mr. Obama said “I know firsthand the extraordinary resilience and fundamental decency of the people of Kenya.”

“So I know that the people of Garissa and all of Kenya will grieve, but their determination to achieve a better and more secure future will not be deterred,” Mr. Obama said. “And neither will the resolve of the United States. We will stand hand-in-hand with the Kenyan government and people against the scourge of terrorism and in their efforts to bring communities together.”

The Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militant group claimed responsibility for the assault, in which 79 others were wounded.

Mr. Obama said the future of Kenya “will not be defined by violence and terror.”

“It will be shaped by young people like those at Garissa University College – by their talents, their hopes, and their achievements,” he said. “This is a message I will relay to the Kenyan people when I visit Kenya in July.”

Witnesses said the gunmen deliberately murdered those they suspected of being Christian. Mr. Obama did not mention any aspect of religion in relation to the attacks.


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