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Homeland Security

UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

KENYA: Terror warnings unfair, tour operators say

NAIROBI, 17 March 2003 (IRIN) - Tour operators have complained that Kenya is being unfairly singled out by the US and UK which last week warned of possible new terror threats in the Horn and East Africa.

Both the local tourist industry and the Kenyan government have described the warnings as "unfortunate".

The US and the UK on last Thursday warned their citizens of possible new terror threats, specifically in Kenya, Djibouti and Ethiopia.

Jake Grieves Cook, the chairman of the Kenya Tourist Federation (KTF), a leading international tour operator, told IRIN on Monday that Kenya was being unfairly singled out as an unsafe destination. He said international tension resulting from the threat of terrorism was depressing the tourism industry worldwide.

"We want to make it clear to overseas journalists that Kenya should not be looked at in isolation as an unsafe destination. They should look at the global context," Cook said.

"We have been affected but so is everyone," he stressed. "We are all part of it. In fact the number of tourists coming to Kenya didn't decline as much as other countries."

Two government ministers at the weekend also protested against the terror warning for Kenya. Internal Security Minister Chris Murangaru and Tourism Minister Raphael Tuju said the government had put in place security measures to counter any terrorist threats, the 'Daily Nation' reported.

Murungaru further said he did not believe the advisory was justified, saying Kenya was not as unsafe as the US or the UK as far as terrorism was concerned.

"We have taken the necessary security steps to forestall any possible terrorist action. We have mobilised all our security institutions and they are on high alert," he said, according to the paper.

Themes: (IRIN) Conflict



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