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

Recruitment Genius: Interactive / Mobile Developer

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: PHP Developer - Midweight

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior Front End Developer

£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

Recruitment Genius: Front End Developer - Midweight / Senior

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital production agency ...

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
SPONSORED FEATURES
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Career Services

Day In a Page

Giants Club: After wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, Uganda’s giants flourish once again

Uganda's giants are flourishing once again

After the wholesale butchery of Idi Amin's regime, elephant populations are finally recovering
The London: After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

After 350 years, the riddle of Britain's exploding fleet is finally solved

Archaeologists will recover a crucial item from the wreck of the London which could help shed more light on what happened in the vessel's final seconds
Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

Airbus has patented a jet that could fly from London to New York in one hour

The invention involves turbojets and ramjets - a type of jet engine - and a rocket motor
10 best sun creams for kids

10 best sun creams for kids

Protect delicate and sensitive skin with products specially formulated for little ones
Tate Sensorium: New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art

Tate Sensorium

New exhibition at Tate Britain invites art lovers to taste, smell and hear art
Ashes 2015: Nice guy Steven Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

Nice guy Finn is making up for lost time – and quickly

He was man-of-the-match in the third Test following his recall to the England side
Ashes 2015: Remember Ashton Agar? The No 11 that nearly toppled England

Remember Ashton Agar?

The No 11 that nearly toppled England
Turkey-Kurdish conflict: Obama's deal with Ankara is a betrayal of Syrian Kurds and may not even weaken Isis

US betrayal of old ally brings limited reward

Since the accord, the Turks have only waged war on Kurds while no US bomber has used Incirlik airbase, says Patrick Cockburn
VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but doubts linger over security

'A gift from Egypt to the rest of the world'

VIPs gather for opening of second Suez Canal - but is it really needed?
Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Jeremy Corbyn dresses abysmally. That's a great thing because it's genuine

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, applauds a man who clearly has more important things on his mind
The male menopause and intimations of mortality

Aches, pains and an inkling of mortality

So the male menopause is real, they say, but what would the Victorians, 'old' at 30, think of that, asks DJ Taylor
Man Booker Prize 2015: Anna Smaill - How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?

'How can I possibly be on the list with these writers I have idolised?'

Man Booker Prize nominee Anna Smaill on the rise of Kiwi lit
Bettany Hughes interview: The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems

Bettany Hughes interview

The historian on how Socrates would have solved Greece's problems
Art of the state: Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China

Art of the state

Pyongyang propaganda posters to be exhibited in China
Mildreds and Vanilla Black have given vegetarian food a makeover in new cookbooks

Vegetarian food gets a makeover

Long-time vegetarian Holly Williams tries to recreate some of the inventive recipes in Mildreds and Vanilla Black's new cookbooks