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Kenyans react online to security debate

Kenya , 03 Dec 2014

Kenyans react online to security debate

An attack by militants on quarry workers in the village of Kormey near Mandera in Northern Kenya has seen social media facilitate national discussion over the country's level of security.

The incident sparked the rise of several social media hashtags like '#MyPresidentMyChoice' and '#StopTheDrunkPresident' that reflected divided opinion - particularly over leadership in the East African country.

Regional media also reported on the popularity of the '#KimaiyoResigns' hashtag, used by many to voice opinion over the resignation of inspector general, David Kimaiyo.

During his speech, after the incident, President Uhuru Kenyatta asked the media to be an objective mediator on ongoing discussions around security matters.

"Our national conversation, whatever its temper, is facilitated by our media. The media must step back from being an inert funnel of sentiments, opinions and messages, and become a true mediator and an honest broker of the national discourse. The media must not allow intemperate, intolerant, divisive, alarmist and stigmatising views," the president said.

The media in Kenya has been abuzz over the recent terror attacks in the Northern part of the country and general insecurity cases.

Most media stations have hosted spirited discussions for and against the government's efforts in fighting insecurity, and these conflicting opinions have continued to create sharp diverse views, especially on social media.

"Ideas that profile and victimise communities and individuals serve the precise aims of our enemies. Media serving as a platform for destructive and toxic interaction is dangerous for our nationhood.

"I urge the media to help Kenya develop a sober, bipartisan consensus on matters of national importance, where we may confer as a national without sacrificing our democracy, freedom of opinion or robust debate," he continued.

The current attacks have been directed at non-Muslims and are seen to try and divide Kenyans along religious lines.

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