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Evie Treen
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Security Update on Kenya

Monday
18th
Aug
2014

The coastal region in Kenya still remains unsafe to travel or take a beach vacation to as it has been declared not very safe for tourists who intend to enjoy a relaxed beach relaxation after their safari. We are recommending the near Zanzibar Islands for beach vacationing.

The Kenya’s coastal region has been affected by a series of unrest and hostilities reeling from the news in the past couple of weeks. The Old Town of Mombasa in particular which is a major tourist attraction for visitors coming to this part of Mombasa to explore Fort Jesus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was Kenya’s government issuing full mouthed statements about efforts to increase security in places frequented by tourists while local tour and hotel operators demanded that increase patrols of regular and of tourism police be deployed. Sadly were those assurances found to be wanting, as was the case over the past weeks in the distant Lamu County where attacks have continued in spite of the country’s security chiefs promising time and again that the local population was safe and measures had been put into place to stop attacks.

Beach Resorts and Tourism Marketers were left struggling for words to respond to this latest blow to Kenya’s efforts to keep the once thriving industry from total collapse, as the coast resorts, already suffering from significantly lower occupancies compared to past years, us staring financial starvation if not ruin in the face.

Meanwhile there has been some positive news from Nairobi where a load of 575 Pounds of Ivory was confiscated at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport by the customs and security personnel who successfully intercepted a shipment of ivory carvings which were destined for Malaysia. From reports at hand was the cargo delivered at the airport in several boxes, due to be shipped with a Turkish Airlines flight from Nairobi via Istanbul to Kuala Lumpur, weighing nearly a quarter of a ton. When the 12 boxes were routinely scanned for security purposes some of the images appeared suspect and the cargo was separated and then opened for closer inspection.

Airport officials regularly arrest travelers in transit carrying ivory purchased in other African countries when their baggage is scanned before being on loaded to the next flight, and regular sniffer dog patrols at JKIA as well as improved technology have helped to unearth contraband carried by passengers to a greater extent than in the past. The value of the confiscated ivory carvings was given as over 350,000 US Dollars and investigations are now underway to find the source of the ivory, the shippers and the recipients in Malaysia. Compliments once again to the vigilant staff at JKIA where this find will hopefully deter smugglers in the future to attempt shipments from or via Nairobi.