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Kenya: UK to Review Travel Caution On Country, Promises Official
Wednesday, February 29, 2012
THE United Kingdom (UK) has expressed optimism that the surveillance equipment handed over to Kenya, will to help improve security, even as it promised to keep its travel advice under constant review.
In a statement, the British High Commission office, the UK said it has taken recent decisions to change travel advice extremely carefully and responsibly, consulting closely with Kenyan authorities throughout. "Tourists from Britain still make up the largest number of visitors who tour Kenya. So we understand very well the impact that such a change can have on Kenya's tourist industry, and how important that industry is to the country. Indeed, we also know that this has an impact on the UK tourist industry in terms of how it affects UK tour operators who are sending tourists to Kenya, UK airlines," said the statement.
The spokesperson, John Bradshow, said the UK was in discussion with the Kenyan government on how to improve security in Kenya, and build the country's capacity to mitigate the risk of reprisals following its operation in Somalia. "The UK currently advises against all but essential travel to coastal areas within 150km of the Somali border due to the threat of kidnapping. This includes the Lamu area.There were two attacks by armed gangs in small boats against beach resorts in this area on 11 September and 1 October 2011," he said, adding that, "We also advise against all but essential travel within 60km of the Somali border inland from the coastal strip, and to Garissa District, due to continuing instability in these areas."
He hoped that the surveillance equipment will help Kenya's capacity to reduce the threat. He added the recent London conference on Somalia, which was hosted by the UK, where Kenya was represented by President Mwai Kibaki, discussed how piracy off the Somali coast, which is a threat to international law would be addressed. It also looked at the root causes of piracy, and at measures to tackle piracy, such as transfers of convicted pirates from regional states to Somalia, tough arrangements to catch, try and imprison pirates, and continuing development of regional maritime capacity within Somalia.
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