Kenya demands CNN apologise for 'hotbed of terror' slur ahead of Obama visit
Published 24/07/2015 | 08:39
Kenya has called on US news channel CNN to apologise for calling the East African country a "hotbed of terror" ahead of President Barack Obama's visit.
At a news conference held yesterday, Interior Cabinet Secretary Joseph Nkaissery said “[CNN] would make an apology if it was civilised enough” following widespread backlash against a report by the news network were it described Kenya as a "hotbed of terror”.
"I urge Kenyans to treat the @CNN report with the contempt it deserves," he said.
President Obama’s trip to Kenya later today will be the first time a sitting US President has visited the East African country.
In an article about President Obama's visit to the African nation, CNN described the country as a "hotbed of terror".
“President Barack Obama is not just heading to his father's homeland, but to a hotbed of terror," the news network said, before speaking to a security analyst who predicted that a terrorism attack was likely “given that the country is a soft target.”
CNN has since changed the headline from 'Obama's trip to a terror hotbed' to 'Obama's trip raises security concerns'.
The focus of the report was the threat posed by the al-Qaeda linked al-Shabab group, who in April killed 148 people in a day-long assault on the Garissa University College in northern Kenya.
With its headquarters in neighbouring Somalia, al-Shabab has carried out a spate of attacks in Kenya in recent years.
Mr Nkaissery said Kenya was at risk of attack like any other country but this did not turn it into a "hotbed of terror".
On Wednesday, Kenya's civil aviation authority said the East African state's airspace would be shut for a 50-minute window ahead of Mr Obama's arrival in the capital Nairobi.
A ban on planes flying lower than 20,000 feet will remain in place in Nairobi for the duration of Mr Obama's three-day visit, it added.