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NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Rescuers transfer a wounded man at a blast site in Nairobi on January 26, 2019. At least one person was seriously injured after a suspected improvised explosive device (IED) exploded in a busy street in Kenyan capital of Nairobi on Saturday, the police said. XINHUA PHOTOS - NYALWASH

Security risk profile low despite Nairobi terrorist attack: Expert

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- Kenya remains a relatively low-risk nation for local and international businesses despite last week’s terrorist attack at a Nairobi business complex that claimed 21 lives, an expert said on Wednesday.

Friederike Lyon, marketing director, Europe and Africa for international risk consultancy firm, Control Risks, told Xinhua that Kenya is likely to weather major security disruptions in the near future but should be on guard to ward off attack by Somalia-based militant group al-Shabab.

"Control Risks has not raised its risk rating for Nairobi or Kenya since last Tuesday’s attack. We do not believe it is any more likely that an attack of this scale and coordination will happen in the near future than it was prior to last week’s," said Lyon.

Kenya suffered a major terrorist attack on Jan. 15 after a prolonged lull when al-Shabab militants stormed 14 Riverside Drive located in Nairobi’s upmarket Westlands district, which is home to dusitD2 and several offices for multinational companies.

The heavily armed attackers who included a suicide bomber shot aimlessly at office workers and hotel guests before they were killed by Kenyan commandos after a stand-off that lasted about 18 hours.

Kenyan security apparatus have intensified man-hunt for individuals involved in planning the terrorist attack at the Nairobi business complex.

So far, ten suspects who are believed to have crucial ties with the assailants are in police custody where they are undergoing interrogation.

  Security risk profile low despite Nairobi terrorist attack: expert | Coastweek

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- A police officer lays a flower at the entrance of DusitD2 hotel and office complex in Nairobi. At least 21 people were killed and several others injured after suspected Al Shabaab militia group attacked the hotel and office complex on January 15, 2019. XINHUA PHOTO - ALLAN MUTISO
Lyon said that al-Shabab could focus on smaller and poorly coordinated attacks in north-eastern parts of Kenya in the near future hence the need for heightened vigilance.

"A country needs to be resilient against any form of crisis, including a terrorist attack.

"It is worth noting that terrorism is a global issue and not just a risk we are facing in Kenya or Africa," said Lyon.

Lyon said that Kenyan security forces acted in a professional, timely and well-coordinated manner during the latest terrorist attack.

Lyon added that Kenya’s vulnerability to frequent al-Shabab attacks, compared to the neighboring countries, is because the east African nation has a larger presence of international organizations that have elevated its prestige.


Kenya says investment climate resilient despite terror threats

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The investment climate in Kenya has weathered jitters linked to the latest terrorist attack at a premier business complex in Nairobi to remain resilient, a senior government official said on Friday.

Monica Juma, cabinet secretary for foreign affairs and international trade, said that local and foreign investors have retained confidence in the Kenyan market despite security threats like crime and terrorism.

"Our attractiveness as an ideal investment destination has not suffered lasting damage as the country shakes off effects of a terrorist attack.

"The rally at the stock market and consistency in tourist arrivals confirm this economy is very resilient," said Juma.

She spoke in Nairobi during a meeting with business leaders and regulators to discuss policy realignment that is required to enhance competitiveness of Kenyan businesses against a backdrop of creation of a continental free trade area.

Kenya was thrust into the global spotlight on Jan.15 when armed assailants linked to Somalia-based terrorist network al-Shabab attacked a premier business complex in Nairobi where they killed 21 people and injured dozens.

The terrorist attack at 14 River Side Drive located in Nairobi’s upmarket Westlands District has caused minimum disruption to economic activities in the country.

Juma downplayed security threats, saying that Kenya is open for investments across key sectors of the economy like manufacturing, financial services and tourism to help realize a transformation agenda.

"We have a strategy to reduce risks to businesses and our private sector will be facilitated to explore the regional and continental market," said Juma.

She noted that Kenya’s democratic credentials coupled with friendly regulations and a predictable investment climate have positioned the east African nation as a preferred investment destination.

Nick Nesbitt, chairman of Kenya Private Sector Alliance, said that state interventions are crucial to risk-proof investments required to spur economic growth and job creation in the country.

"Dialogue is key to enhance private sector led growth while cushioning the local investment climate from risks," said Nesbitt.

James Mureu, vice-chairman of Kenya National Chamber of Commerce and Industry said the resilience of local economy in the face of a terrorist attack was a confidence booster to investors.

United States embassy urges Kenyans to
sustain vigilance in wake of terror threats

NAIROBI (Xinhua) -- The United States has issued a security alert, urging Kenyans to sustain vigilance in wake of terror attacks in the east African nation.

In its security alert, the U.S. embassy in Kenya reminded the public to stay vigilant in public spaces such as shopping malls, hotels, and places of worship.

The warning came 10 days after al-Shabab attacked a luxury hotel and office complex housing multinational companies in Nairobi that left 21 people killed.

The security forces have rounded up several suspects who are in police custody in connection with Jan. 15 attack at the leafy dusitD2 complex on 14 Riverside Drive.

Somali terror group al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the hotel attack.

The militant group said the Nairobi attack was a response to the "witless remarks" of U.S. President Donald Trump and his declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, and to the "systematic prosecution of Muslims in Palestine."

The embassy asked the public to be aware of their surroundings and stay alert in locations frequented by tourists and Westerners.

The American embassy also advised foreigners to have their travel documents up to date and easily accessible and also advised the public to review their personal security plans.



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