Nairobi shopping mall attack: If foreigners steer clear of Kenya, the terrorists claim another victory

British travellers might go elsewhere for superb beaches and safari locations

view gallery VIEW GALLERY
Share
Related Topics

The natural responses to the Westgate massacre are horror at the cruelty, outrage towards the perpetrators and empathy with victims and their families. As the death toll increases, many will feel another emotion: apprehension.

Another soft target has become the location for carnage; where might extremists strike next? How much will security ratchet up in peaceable communities, in a futile bid to “harden” day-to-day activities against terrorist attack?

To these fears, some people bring more immediate and practical anxieties. Many thousands of tourists are due to travel to Kenya in the next few months. And as tourism accounts for one-fifth of the nation’s economy, around eight million Kenyans rely upon earnings from Western visitors.

The Foreign Office is, as always, treading a tightrope between the paramount duty to protect British citizens and the risk of damaging an ally. Its advice to prospective visitors to Kenya is likely to stop well short of urging against “all but essential travel”. And that decision is probably right.

Early on Sunday morning, Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs put out an alert to its citizens in Kenya. It listed some of the possible targets for another attack: “hotels, airports, shopping areas, markets, bars, nightclubs, restaurants and cafes, tourist resorts (including beach resorts and beaches), safari lodges, churches and other places of worship, commercial airlines and other places frequented by foreigners”. That does not leave the average holidaymaker with much of an agenda. Australians in Kenya are also warned to “Avoid public places for the next 24-48 hours”.

A couple of days? The danger – and doubtless one aim of this al-Shabab attack – is that many travellers will avoid public places in Kenya for an awful lot longer. After all, superb beaches and safari locations are available in African nations where British travellers have not been abducted and murdered, nor expatriates slaughtered. But if too many relatively wealthy Westerners turn their backs on this friendly, beautiful and entrancing East African country, the terrorists will claim another victory.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Client Services Assistant

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Client Services Assistant is ...

Recruitment Genius: Junior / Senior Sales Broker - OTE £100,000

£20000 - £100000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportuni...

Recruitment Genius: Duty Manager

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Duty Manager is required to join one of the ...

Recruitment Genius: Team Leader

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Team Leader is required to join one of the l...

Day In a Page

Read Next
9.4 million people watched the first of the three-way debates at the last election. The audience for the one on Thursday is likely to be far lower.  

David Cameron needs to learn some new tricks – and fast

Steve Richards
The 2010-formed Coalition was led by a partly reformed Conservative Party, checked and balanced by Nick Clegg  

How did the Coalition ever manage to work together so harmoniously?

Isabel Hardman
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor