Today's letter from the Editor
Today's Matrices
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

i Editor's Letter: Terrorism in Nairobi and how it affects the UK

 

The blood shed in Nairobi’s Westgate shopping centre during the weekend siege may have far more of an impact on us here in Britain than we at first assume. Kenya remains critical to Britain’s global interests and domestic affairs, and the Islamists’ slaughter of shoppers is meant to serve as a warning to foreigners in east Africa.

Nairobi is our main trade, travel and aid hub to Africa; it is the source of our influence on the continent (albeit diminishing). Trade between the UK and Kenya grows, past £1bn a year, and British companies have £2bn of investments there. Security links with the Kenyans are considered vital by our intelligence services, who use the country as a base to help counter the threat from neighbouring Somalia – second only to Pakistan as a destination for extremist British Muslims to receive paramilitary training.

Whitehall and Washington fear that the new Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of crimes against humanity, will turn to China and India.

Al-Shabaab, who ruled Somalia until they were beaten back by an international coalition led by the African Union, were the mob who took to beheading civilians, burying teenage girls up to their necks in sand and stoning them to death.

The Nairobi shopping centre attack sees the Shabaab enter a new phase. “I think this is just the beginning,” warns the Pentagon’s former director of African counterterrorism, Rudy Atallah. “An attack like this gives them the capability to recruit, it shows off their abilities.”

It is 118 years since the Berlin Conference formalised Europe’s Scramble for Africa, designating 250,000 sq miles from the Indian Ocean to Lake Victoria as British East Africa. Our motives are not much purer now, our African allies hold powerful bargaining positions and we cannot put boots on the ground. But we can ill afford to relinquish our influence in the region.

i@independent.co.uk

Twitter.com: @olyduff

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions
Major medical journal Lancet under attack for 'extremist hate propaganda' over its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict

Lancet accused of 'anti-Israel hate propaganda' over coverage of Gaza conflict

Threat to free speech as publishers of renowned medical journal are accused of inciting hatred and violence
General Election 2015: Tories and Lib Dems throw their star names west to grab votes

All noisy on the Lib Dems' western front

The party has deployed its big guns in Cornwall to save its seats there. Simon Usborne heads to the heart of the battle
How Etsy became a crafty little earner: The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?

How Etsy became a crafty little earner

The online market has been floated for £1.2bn, but can craft and capitalism coexist?
Guy Ritchie is the latest filmmaker to tackle King Arthur - one of our most versatile heroes

King Arthur is inspiring Guy Ritchie

Raluca Radulescu explains why his many permutations - from folk hero to chick-lit hunk - never cease to fascinate
Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations for the man or woman on the street?

Apple Watch: Will it live up to expectations?

The Apple Watch has apparently sold millions even before its launch tomorrow
Don't fear the artichoke: it's a good cook's staple, with more choice than you'd think

Don't fear the artichoke

Artichokes are scary - they've got spikes and hairy bits, and British cooks tend to give them a wide berth. But they're an essential and delicious part of Italian cuisine
11 best men's socks

11 best men's socks

Make a statement with your accessories, starting from the bottom up
Paul Scholes column: Eden Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo

Paul Scholes column

Hazard would be my Player of the Year – but I wonder if he has that appetite for goals of Messi or Ronaldo
Frank Warren: Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal

Frank Warren's Ringside

Tyson Fury will be closely watching Wladimir Klitschko... when he wins it'll be time to do a deal
London Marathon 2015: Kenya's brothers in arms Wilson Kipsang and Dennis Kimetto ready to take on world

Kenya's brothers in arms take on world

Last year Wilson Kipsang had his marathon record taken off him by training partner and friend Dennis Kimetto. They talk about facing off in the London Marathon
Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad but it's not because I refuse to fly

Natalie Bennett interview: I've lost track of the last time I saw my Dad

Green leader prefers to stay clear of her 'painful' family memories but is more open about 'utterly unreasonable' personal attacks
Syria conflict: Khorasan return with a fresh influx of fighters awaiting the order to start 'shooting the birds'

Khorasan is back in Syria

America said these al-Qaeda militants were bombed out of the country last year - but Kim Sengupta hears a different story
General Election 2015: Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North for Ukip?

On the campaign trail with Ukip

Is William Cash the man to woo Warwickshire North?
Four rival Robin Hood movies get Hollywood go-head - and Friar Tuck will become a superhero

Expect a rush on men's tights

Studios line up four Robin Hoods productions