Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Security Situation in Kenya, 18th October 2011

Following recent incursions across the border into Kenya by Somali bandits, resulting in
the murder of one tourist and the kidnapping of four other foreign nationals in isolated
beach resorts and a refugee camp near the Somali border, the government of Kenya
gave assurances that serious efforts would be made to enhance security along the
border with Somalia to counteract the threat from Somali terrorists and to protect
visitors and Kenyans from further attacks.

The government has now taken action, as promised, to have a stronger military
presence along the land border with Somalia in the remote north-eastern region of
Kenya to stop any further incursions into Kenya by Somali bandits or by the Al Shabab
terrorist group. The Kenya Army has deployed troops along the border and has crossed
into Somalia to ensure that the area all along the border is cleared of any bandits or
suspected terrorists. Kenya is also giving air and ground support to the Somali
government, which is carrying out its own offensive against Al Shabab. At the coast, the
Kenya Navy is co-operating with the international navies present in the Indian Ocean
for counter-piracy exercises, and has naval patrol boats in the Lamu area to intercept
and inspect any boats coming towards Kenya from the Somali coastal waters.

As expected, the Al Shabab terrorist organisation has retaliated by issuing threats which
have been publicised by the international media but security analysts have pointed out
that they appear to lack the capacity for any effective military response. Western
diplomats in Nairobi have praised Kenya for taking prompt and effective action to
enhance security along the land border.

The wildlife parks and reserves in Kenya are all located far away from the border with
Somalia and have never been considered to be under any threat, while the beach
resorts south of Lamu are also considered to be safe in view of their location being at a
greater distance from the border with Somalia.

Visitors can be assured that they will continue to receive the normal friendly welcome
and hospitality for which Kenyans are renowned and that they can travel to Kenya for
safaris and beach holidays in the knowledge that their safety and security remains a
high priority for all of us in Kenya’s tourism sector.

Jake Grieves-Cook
Managing Director
Gamewatchers Safaris
& Porini Camps

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