Kenyan Soldiers Took Seven Hours to Respond to University Massacre

Carrie Dedrick | Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Kenyan Soldiers Took Seven Hours to Respond to University Massacre

A new report claims Kenyan soldiers took seven hours to arrive at Garissa University College last week, the scene of an al-Shabaab terrorist attack that killed almost 150 people. 

According to the Daily Mail, Kenyan security forces were called to Garissa before dawn on Thursday (April 2) to respond to the deadly massacre. Troops were located in Nairobi, a city 225 miles away and did not arrive until 2:00 p.m. 

Foreign Minister Amina Mohamed used a soccer analogy to defend the slow response time, saying, “Fighting terrorism is like being a goalkeeper. You have 100 saves, and nobody remembers them. They remember that one that went past you.” 

Another official, interior ministry spokesman Mwenda Njoka also excused the response time, arguing that “there were many moving parts” to get troops to the scene. 

“It takes time to assess and make the decisions, escalating it from National Security Advisory Committee to the National Security Council and then to scramble the elite units, get them to the airport and fly them to Garissa which is a two hour flight,” he said.

Still, critics said the government was negligent to the needs of its civilians. One Kenyan newspaper wrote, “This is negligence on a scale that borders on the criminal...the gunmen, who killed scores of students with obvious relish, took their time.”

Publication date: April 7, 2015