Published on Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Kenyan tourism dealt another blow

Kenyan tourist officials are trying to reassure the trade after another attack involving a tourist.

A Swiss tourist was seriously wounded and her Kenyan driver killed in an attack last Friday near the Shaba National Reserve, 250 kilometres north of Nairobi.

But tourism officials and operators say the incident was linked to rivalries in different communities in the Shaba area and does not have implications for the rest of the country.

A statement from the Kenya Tourism Federation said: “We wish to clarify that this regrettable incident did not emanate from external aggression nor is it linked to the ongoing military intervention in Somalia by Kenyan security forces.

“We wish to assure the tourism industry that we are monitoring the situation very closely and in the event that the safety of tourists cannot be assured appropriate advice will be given to the local operators.”

County council chairman Adan Ali, vowing that the attackers would be brought to justice, said the Shaba reserve is a big revenue earner for the area.

"The park is our cash cow, and we shall not compromise on the security of our visitors," he told French news agency, AFP.

The attack comes at the same time the United States has updated its advice on Kenya, warning Americans about travel to Kenya.

"The US government continues to receive information regarding potential terrorist threats aimed at US, Western and Kenyan interests in Kenya, particularly after the death of Osama Bin Laden," the warning said.

By Diane Evans

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  • Some perspective

    To add some perspective to the Kenyan Advisory from the US State Department it is worth noting the following sections of the current WORLDWIDE advisory which look remarkably similar and help give some perspective: * The Department of State remains concerned about the continued threat of terrorist attacks, demonstrations, and other violent actions against U.S. citizens and interests overseas. The Department of State believes there is an enhanced potential for anti-American violence given the death of Osama Bin Laden... * The Department of State has issued this Worldwide Caution to update information on the continuing threat of terrorist actions and violence against U.S. citizens and interests throughout the world. U.S. citizens are reminded to maintain a high level of vigilance and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. * Current information suggests that al-Qaida and affiliated organizations continue to plan terrorist attacks against U.S. interests in multiple regions, including Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

    By Mark Wheeler, Tuesday, November 8, 2011

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