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Security in Kenya

Kenya’s number one headache is the internal security situation. Foreign refugees who are accused of the flow of small-arms across its five land frontiers, both of which have contributed to Kenya’s spiralling levels of crime and lawlessness have continued to flow into the country on a daily basis. Ethnic clashes which were witnessed during the Nyaya Era ( President Moi’s rule) have now ceased. Unnecessary killing by the ‘Mungiki’ sect have also been curbed by the current Administration know as the Narc Government.

However, the Kenyan government lacks the financial and security resources to mount meaningful crime reduction. Most Police Stations do not have the necessary equipment to fight crime eg vehicles. Cases of Policemen stranded at their workstations for lack of transport after receiving a distress call from a victim are not rare.

Crime also manifests itself in attacks on Kenyans and tourists. Some roads are almost impassable at night due to fear of being mugged or carjacked. This is especially so in some isolated areas within Nairobi and it’s environs. Kenyan Motorists and Pedestrians are quite cautious of such areas and so they are quite deserted.

For strangers to the city however, they have had to contend with some horrible encounters. This is commonly referred to as Nairobbery. It covers all types of muggings, car jackings, Bank/shop/hotel/bar robberies etc.Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in heavy traffic. Armed vehicle hijackings are common in Nairobi but can occur anywhere in the country. Thieves and con artists have been known to impersonate hotel employees, police officers, or government officials.

Ethnic conflict is also prevalent in the environs of Nairobi, as was the case in December 2001, when tens of thousands of residents fled fighting in Kibera, the largest slum in the East and Central Africa. At least a dozen people were killed when week-long skirmishes allegedly on house rents turned into a tribal warfare between Sudanese Nubian landlords and Luo tenants.

On November 28, 2002, there was a car bomb attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya, in which 15 people were killed, and an unsuccessful attempt to shoot down an Israeli charter plane departing Mombasa. These incidents have highlighted the continuing threat posed by terrorism in East Africa and the capacity of terrorist groups to carry out attacks.

On August 7, 1998, terrorists bombed the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi, killing 213 people and injuring many more in and around the Embassy. The U.S. Embassy has since relocated to a different location which is much safer.

Generally, Kenya is safe if you take the necessary precautions. See our travel tips.

[If you have more/better information that we can post here, please send us by email and we shall include it and give credit to you.]


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