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Kenyatta replaces Interior Minister, Police Chief after massacre

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta

Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta has replaced his interior minister and police chief following a massacre by Islamist group al-Shabab.

The president asked Kenyans to unite, and said: "We will not flinch in war against terrorists."

Kenya's police chief David Kimaiyo stood down, while Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku was dismissed. Earlier, al-Shabab killed 36 quarry workers in the north-eastern Mandera region near the Somali border.

The group attacked the workers around midnight on Monday while they were asleep in tents at the quarry in Kormey, 15km (9 miles) from the town of Mandera.
Non-Muslim workers were shot dead after being separated from the Muslims.

'Choose a side'

"This is a war against Kenya and Kenyans," Mr Kenyatta said on national TV on Monday. "It is a war that every one of us must fight."

"The time has come for each and every one of us to decide and choose - are you on the side of an open, free, democratic Kenya... or do you stand with repressive, intolerant extremists?"

He said Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku had been fired, and he nominated an opposition politician and former army general, Joseph Nkaissery, as his replacement.
The president also announced that he had accepted Mr Kimaiyo's wish to retire.

Correspondents say both Mr Kimaiyo and Mr Lenku have been under pressure to resign amid growing concern over security in Kenya following a spate of attacks.


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