Renowned Ghanaian poet killed in Kenya mall attack: president
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ACCRA (AFP) – Renowned Ghanaian poet and statesman Kofi Awoonor was among the 59 people confirmed dead so far in an attack by Somali Islamist militants on a Nairobi shopping mall, Ghana's president said Sunday.
John Dramani Mahama said in a statement: "I am shocked to hear the death of Prof. Kofi Awoonor in Nairobi mall terrorist attack. Such a sad twist of fate..."
Awoonor, 78, was killed while shopping with his son in the Westgate Mall, Ghana's Deputy Information Minister Felix Kwakye Ofosu said.
His son was injured and has been discharged from the hospital, Ofosu said.
Awoonor was Ghana's representative to the United Nations under the presidency of Jerry Rawlings from 1990 to 1994, and was also president of the Council of State, an advisory body to the president, under former president John Atta Mills. He stepped down from that role earlier this year.
He was a renowned writer, most notably for his poetry inspired by the oral tradition of the Ewe people, to which he belonged.
Much of his best work was published in Ghana's immediate post-independence period, part of which he spent in exile outside of the country after the first president Kwame Nkrumah, whom Awoonor was close to, was overthrown in a coup.
His books included "Rediscovery and Other Poems," published in 1964.
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Ghanaian poet Kofi Awoonor, TV anchor Ruhila Adatia die in attack
Updated Sunday, September 22nd 2013 at 22:06 GMT +3
By STEVENS MUENDO
On Sunday, top celebrities, media personalities and hundreds of fans across Africa joined family members in mourning the deaths of celebrated Kiss TV presenter Ruhila Adatia and Ghanaian poet and diplomat, Kofi Awoonor, who were caught up in the Westgate Mall attack on Saturday.
The Ghanaian government confirmed Awoonor’s death early Sunday morning.
Awoonor was in Nairobi to speak at the Storymoja Hay Festival, a four-day celebration of writing, thinking and storytelling — when the attack — for which Somali militant group Al-Shabaab has claimed responsibility — occurred.
Condolence messages to Ruhila’s family poured in from her former Radio Africa colleagues including Caroline Mutoko, Churchill, Kalekye Mumo and Shaffie Weru.
The local media personalities expressed their grief following Ruhila’s shocking death from gunshot wounds.
“Such a sad day for Kenya and for Radio Africa. Rest in peace Ruhila Adatia. Words alone cannot begin to explain the shock I’m in,” celebrated radio presenter, actress and musician Kalekye Mumo mourned, minutes after the Kiss E-News presenter succumbed to her wounds after she was rushed to the Aga Khan University Hospital in Parklands, Nairobi.
“My heartfelt condolences to the families of the deceased. Rest in peace Ruhila Adatia,” a shocked Churchill commented.
The beauty had cut a niche for herself in the local media thanks to her popular Kiss TV E-News segment as well as her East FM drive show.
At the time of going to press, 64 people had been confirmed dead and 175 hospitalised with injuries following the terror attack, the first of its kind to happen in Kenya.
Heavily armed attackers captured the busy uptown mall mid Saturday morning and put the mall under siege with heavy gunfire and grenade blasts occasioning what was to become one of the deadliest attacks ever to be experienced in Kenya.
- East FM radio presenter Aleem Manji, who was also with Ms Kaur, was reported injured.
- She posted a total of eight photos on Instagram, with her fans, with her colleagues and some of those who won prizes with bags of rice in their hands.
- A fun-loving person, Ruhila is described on the East FM website as a “TV presenter by day and superhero in the evenings as I get you home in the traffic mess.”
By NATION TEAM
Somali al Shabaab group claims Kenya can't act on its threats
Updated Sunday, September 22nd 2013 at 21:36 GMT +3
The Somali Islamist militant group Al Shabaab taunted Kenya on Sunday as its guerrillas awaited a government bid to end a siege in the Nairobi shopping mall they had seized a day earlier.
Al Shabaab has claimed responsibility for the attack, in which 68 people were confirmed killed and a further undisclosed number were being held hostage on Sunday.
Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta pledged to clear out the attackers and track the planners down. In an address on Sunday, he promised to punish the masterminds "swiftly and painfully".
"Where will Uhuru Kenyatta get the power with which he threatened us?" Sheikh Abdiasis Abu Musab, Al Shabaab's military operations spokesman, told Reuters in Somalia.
"His forces are the weakest in Africa. We have been fighting Kenyan forces for two years ... If Uhuru wants peace from us, he should withdraw his troops from Somalia."
Shortly after he made his comments, Kenyatta told a news conference that Kenya would not relent on its "war on terror" in Somalia, where its troops and other African peacekeepers are fighting Islamist militants including al Shabaab.
The Kenyan government had said there were 10 to 15 attackers in Nairobi, and that they had been isolated in one area of the mall. Abu Musab declined to divulge details of the attackers or their hostages.
Instead he taunted Kenya for seeking support from Israel, after an Israeli security source said Israeli advisers were helping Kenya to formulate a strategy to end the siege.
Addressing Kenya's leader, Abu Musab said: "Uhuru, threatening and bluffing are nothing, take your own AK-47 (rifle) and meet us at the frontline."
http://www.standardmedia.co.ke/?articleID=2000094085&story_title=Kenya: Al Shabaab group claims Kenya can't act on its threats