alexa Uproar greets CNN ‘terror hotbed’ label - Daily Nation

Uproar greets CNN ‘terror hotbed’ label

Thursday July 23 2015

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery addresses journalists at Harambee House in Nairobi on July 23, 2015. "If CNN (journalists) are civilised, they should apologise for terming Kenya a 'hotbed of terror,'" he said. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP

ANGIRA ZADOCK
By ANGIRA ZADOCK
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The Kenyan government has protested to American broadcaster CNN for referring to the country as a "hotbed of terror".

Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery on Thursday termed the broadcast a "sustained campaign" to portray Kenya in bad light.

“This announcement is based on lies. It demonstrates heightened irresponsibility by the media network and smacks of arrogance," he told journalists at Harambee House in Nairobi.

“I take this opportunity to condemn this negative campaign by CNN and strongly protest at what is becoming a pattern of an anti-Kenya propaganda by CNN," he added.

MOST PEACEFUL

Prior to 2013 General Election, Major-Gen (Rtd) Nkaissery said, the same CNN broadcast to the world carefully choreographed pictures of alleged warriors and militia training in a forest in preparation for war during and after election.

“The entire world knows that the 2013 General Election in Kenya was the most peaceful and celebrated event, without a single incident,” he said.

“I, therefore, take this opportunity to commend Kenyans for their patriotism, urge them to treat the CNN report with the contempt it deserves, and to stand proud at this historic moment for our country,” he added.

Following the report, Kenyans on Thursday morning took to Twitter to lash out at CNN.

BOWED TO PRESSURE

In broadcast, CNN claimed the US military had conducted nearly half a dozen secret air strikes in Somalia against Al-Shabaab militants because US intelligence indicated an attack against Kenyan troops.

The broadcaster later bowed to pressure from Kenyans on Twitter (KOT) and corrected the story to now call eastern Africa, not Kenya specifically, a "hotbed of terror".

"The headline and lead of this article (have) been recast to indicate the terror threat is a regional one," a CNN editors' note reads at the beginning of story.

While the Kenyan government did not demand an apology from CNN, Mr Nkaissery said the broadcaster should issue one "if they are civilised enough".

TERROR RISK

“Kenya like any other country in the world, is at risk of terrorist attacks. Owing to our proximity to Somalia, a country that has been used by international terrorist networks and agents to recruit, train and plan attacks against Kenya and the region, we have suffered terror attacks,” he said.  

“However, while these attacks are tragic and unacceptable, they do not turn Kenya into a terror hotbed", as alleged by the CNN. 

"The reality is that Kenya has stood steadfast against this global challenge.  We are part of the vanguard nations that are deployed in Somalia to restore peace and stability.  We continue to host the world largest refugee camps,” the CS said.