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

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Uncapped OTE: SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consulta...

Recruitment Genius: Production Operative

£13000 - £17000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to a period of sustained an...

Recruitment Genius: Digital Marketing Content Leader

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role requires a high level...

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

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent