Friday, May 16, 2014

Kenya: Update--Two Detonations Occur in Nairobi, Ten Killed, 70 Injured, Most of Whom Were Kenyans

According to The New York Times, two detonations struck the Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Friday (May 16), killing as many as 10 people and injuring 70, authorities said.

The lethal blasts came just hours after Britain's Foreign Office and the US Department of State urged their respective citizens to leave the country following what it said was a "high threat from terrorism, including kidnapping."

On Twitter, Kenya's National Disaster Operation Center said Friday one blast targeted a mini-van that Kenyans use for public transportation while the other occurred in a local market.

Before the blasts, the US Embassy in Nairobi sent out a new travel alert on Friday to American citizens warning of a continued terrorist threat in a country where the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania sustained simultaneous al-Qaeda-borne car-bomb attacks in 1998.  

COMMENT: As most of our readers know, my posting re: Kenya was sharply criticized by the Kenyan government:

http://stayingsafeabroad.blogspot.com/2014/05/kenya-update-govt-snaps-back-at-uk-us 

One can only hope that today, Friday, after ten people were killed and some seventy injured, most of them Kenyans, the Kenyan Foreign Ministry can hardly characterize the US and UK travel warnings as "scaring tourists off."

If anything, the warnings may well have saved lives, although not in time to spare the lives of ten Kenyans and seventy others who were injured, and perhaps even maimed for life.

The Kenyan government cannot have it both ways: They can't urge foreign visitors to visit Kenya and act as if everything is "normal," which it is not.

No matter how you "sugar-coat" the reality, the bottom-line is that foreign embassies have a regulatory responsibility to protect their citizens. Period.

Yet, most of the victims of terrorism in Kenya continue to be KENYANS. 

After years of foreign counter-terrorism training, police in Kenya have simply failed to assimilate what technical skills they've been taught.

Repeated training will obviously have no better results if the skills are not assimilated.

As predominantly Kenyans continue to die and be maimed by transnational terrorism, the reality is that the Kenyan police must stop doing what they've always done and expect different results, which, as most of us know, translates into "insanity."

Tragically, Kenyan police seemingly learned absolutely nothing from the al-Shabaab takeover of a Nairobi mall in September 2013, although countless analyses by a number of foreign government have been released, one of which can be found below:

http://www.start.umd.edu/sites/default/files/publications/local_attachments/STARTBackgroundReport_alShabaabKenya_Sept2013.pdf