[bc-gnso] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings
- To: "bc - GNSO list" <bc-gnso@xxxxxxxxx>
- Subject: [bc-gnso] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings
- From: "waudo siganga" <emailsignet@xxxxxxxxxxx>
- Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 12:16:06 +0300
Dear Colleagues- I agree with Marylin. The impact of the
advisories should be to ensure everyone takes necessary
precautions to cover possibilities that can happen - with
differing probabilities of course - at any travel destination.
Right now I am attending a conference at a large hotel on the
Kenyan coast and the facility is filled to capacity with tourists
from Europe peacefully enjoying their holidays in the sun. I am
not saying that there are no security concerns in Kenya but I am
sure that ICANN staff carried out sufficient due diligence before
making the decision to bring the meeting to Nairobi - so, on the
balance, it is safe. Nairobi is an acknowledged international
conference destination and, together with Vienna and Geneva,
hosts the only major UN offices outside New York. I also
understand the Kenya Government is taking extra measures on
logistics to address any security concerns for ICANN delegates so
please feel free to be our guest in March.
On Wed, 09 Dec 2009 21:52 -0500, "Marilyn Cade"
thanks for posting this.
This an interesting issue.
Venue, venue, venue. and secured transport. All important
I will also note that thousands of Americans, and thousands of
Europeans are still traveling to Kenya for tourism purposes...
but I will check in with the US State Department folks who have
this desk and see what I can learn.
Just in the last few months, I traveled to several countries
where there are 'high alerts' for Americans, and followed really
strict suggestions on being safe on ground, and had no incidents.
I will just say that I travel pretty extensively, as I did when I
worked for a major global corporation, and learned the merits of
the low profile approach for an individual.
I also have the benefit of having various ICANN meetings in
environments where travel was considered 'challenging'.
This is not a comment on ICANN, but a comment that when a
government steps up to hosting an international event such as
hosting a meeting with ICANN, they typically step up on security
to ensure a positive experience.
We are fortunate to also have a member of the BC who is Kenyan,
and a former member of the ICANN Board who is Kenyan. Both can
help us to decipher any issues.
OVERALL, though, it is up to all of us to pay attention to
whatever 'watch/warning' announcements that come from our
governments and to make personal decisions.
I do appreciate the opportunity to share perspectives. I will
just note that approximately a year ago, when the IGF [a related
meeting] was held in Hyderabad, some from industry were not
allowed to travel by their corporate employers.
Those of who who were able to attend were exceptionally pleased
at the Indian government's attention to our concerns about
safety. And we not only felt safe, we were safe.
Let's be optimistic about our upcoming Kenya meeting.
A related issue is not safety, but that many of our members may
not be able to get travel funding. We should also focus on remote
participation for all our members, so that we have a good
experience for members, regardless of why they are not in Kenya.
Subject: [bc-gnso] FW: [council] FW: [REGYCON] FW: March 2009
Meeting in Kenya - Warnings
Date: Wed, 9 Dec 2009 16:12:30 -0800
Members considering travel to Kenya may like to note the
following information. I will pass along any other info I get.
548 Market Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
[mailto:owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Gomes, Chuck
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 11:28 AM
To: GNSO Council
Subject: [council] FW: [REGYCON] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya
The issues of safety and security in Nairobi were discussed today
in the RySG meeting. As a result, Jeff Neuman as Vice Chair of
the RySG sent the following message to Craig Schwartz, Chief
Registry Liaison. I am sending this to the full Council because
I am sure that all of us considering attending the meetings in
Kenya have similar concerns and like to receive the type of
information that the RySG has requested.
From: Neuman, Jeff
Sent: Wednesday, December 09, 2009 1:39 PM
To: Craig Schwartz
Cc: doug.brent@xxxxxxxxx; Kurt Pritz; greg.rattray@xxxxxxxxx;
Subject: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings
On the RySG call this morning, a number of members of the RySG
expressed significant concerns about the meeting in Kenya and on
what security measures are being taken by ICANN to protect the
attendees. This includes not only at the Venue site, but also
transportation to and from the airport to the hotels as well as
travel between the hotels and the venue site (since they are not
in the same location). We note that a number of countries
including the United States, Australia, Germany, the UK, Canada
and New Zealand have all issues incredibly strong warnings
against travel to Kenya. See some excerpts we have provided
below. We also understand that ICANN intends on spending a
considerable amount of money on security measures, but to date,
we do not know what those are and whether those protections will
be made available to the attendees other than the ICANN Board and
staff. A number of registries have decided to either not attend
or send a significant lesser number of representatives to the
meeting as a result of the travel warnings simply because they do
not have the resources to spend on the security measures that may
We would appreciate a prompt response on this as we are all in
the process of making our decisions on whether to attend the
meeting and making the appropriate accommodations.
The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of the risks of
travel to Kenya. American citizens in Kenya and those
considering travel to Kenya should evaluate their personal
security situation in light of continuing threats from terrorism
and the high rate of violent crime.
Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed
carjackings and home invasions/burglaries, can occur at any time
and in any location, particularly in Nairobi. As recently as
June 2008, U.S. Embassy personnel were victims of carjackings.
In the short-term, the continued displacement of thousands of
people by the recent civil unrest combined with endemic poverty
and the availability of weapons could result in an increase in
crime, both petty and violent. Kenyan authorities have limited
capacity to deter or investigate such acts or prosecute
perpetrators. American citizens in Kenya should be extremely
vigilant with regard to their personal security, particularly in
public places frequented by foreigners such as clubs, hotels,
resorts, upscale shopping centers, restaurants, and places of
*CRIME:* There is a high rate of crime in all regions of Kenya,
particularly Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach
There are regular reports of attacks against tourists by groups
of armed assailants. Pickpockets and thieves carry out "snatch
and run" crimes on city streets and near crowds. Visitors have
found it safer not to carry valuables, but rather to store them
in hotel safety deposit boxes or safe rooms. However, there have
been reports of safes being stolen from hotel rooms and hotel
desk staff being forced to open safes. Walking alone or at night,
especially in downtown areas, public parks, along footpaths, on
beaches, and in poorly lit areas, is dangerous and discouraged.
Violent criminal attacks, including armed carjacking and home
invasions/burglary, can occur at any time and in any location,
and are becoming increasingly frequent, brazen, vicious, and
often fatal. In early 2007, two American citizens were killed and
one critically injured in two separate carjacking incidents.
Nairobi averages about ten vehicle hijackings per day and Kenyan
authorities have limited capacity to deter and investigate such
acts. Matatus (public transportation) tend to be targeted since
they carry up to 14 passengers.
Although these attacks are often violent, victims are generally
not injured if they do not resist. There is also a high incidence
of residential break-ins and occupants should take additional
security measures to protect their property. Thieves and con
artists have been known to impersonate police officers, thus
Americans are strongly encouraged to ask for identification if
approached by individuals identifying themselves as police
officials, uniformed or not.
Thieves routinely snatch jewelry and other objects from open
vehicle windows while motorists are either stopped at traffic
lights or in heavy traffic. Vehicle windows should be up and
doors locked regardless of the time of day or weather. Thieves on
matatus, buses and trains may steal valuables from inattentive
passengers. Americans should guard their backpacks or hand
luggage and ensure these items are not left unattended.
Purchasing items from street vendors is strongly discouraged –
visitors should only use reputable stores or businesses. Many
scams, perpetrated against unsuspecting tourists, are prevalent
in and around the city of Nairobi. Many of these involve people
impersonating police officers and using fake police ID badges and
Nevertheless, police checkpoints are common in Kenya and all
vehicles are required to stop if directed to do so.
Highway banditry is common in much of North Eastern Province,
Eastern Province, the northern part of Coast Province, and the
northern part of the Rift Valley Province. These areas are remote
and sparsely populated.
Incidents also occur occasionally on Kenya's main highways,
particularly after dark. Due to increased bandit activity, air
travel is the recommended means of transportation when visiting
any of the coastal resorts north of Malindi. Travelers to North
Eastern Kenya and the North Rift Valley Region should travel with
the police escorts or convoys organized by the government of
There has been an increase in armed banditry in or near many of
Kenya’s national parks and game reserves, particularly the
Samburu, Leshaba, and Masai Mara game reserves. In response, the
Kenya Wildlife Service and police have taken some steps to
strengthen security in the affected areas, but the problem has
not been eliminated. Travelers who do not use the services of
reputable travel firms or knowledgeable guides or drivers are
especially at risk. Safaris are best undertaken with a minimum of
two vehicles so that there is a backup in case of mechanical
failure or other emergency. Solo camping is always risky.
The level of crime in Nairobi is high. Violent crime against
Westerners, including armed carjacking, kidnapping for ransom and
home invasions, occurs frequently and can be brazen and brutal.
There have been fatalities. Anecdotal evidence suggests that
foreigners are increasingly being targeted in homes, tourist
areas and while travelling by road.
You should avoid walking or travelling after dark or on isolated
roads, especially in downtown areas, public parks, along
footpaths or on beaches, and remain vigilant during daylight
Muggings and burglaries are common, particularly after dark.
Jewellery and bag-snatching from open vehicle windows frequently
occur while motorists are either stopped at traffic lights or in
heavy traffic. When driving, you should ensure that windows are
up, doors are locked and valuables are out of sight.
* We advise you to exercise a high degree of caution in Kenya
this time due to the high risk of terrorist attack, civil
and high crime levels.
* We are receiving an increasing number of reports that
may be planning attacks against a range of targets in Kenya,
including Kenyan or Western interests. Western embassies, UN
premises, shopping areas frequented by Westerners, hotels,
resorts, safari lodges and other places frequented by
may be particular targets. In planning your activities, you
avoid the kinds of places known to be terrorist targets.
* Foreign embassies, hotels and commercial airlines in Kenya
been targeted by terrorists in the past and remain potential
targets. See Safety and Security: Terrorism
Canadians are advised to exercise a high degree of caution
because of the potential of terrorist actions against Western
interests throughout Kenya. Attacks could occur at any time and
could target areas frequented by expatriates and foreign
travellers. Canadians should be aware that the U.S. embassies in
Kenya and Tanzania were bombed simultaneously in 1998.
The potential for carjackings and robberies of tourists
travelling to and from Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)
and Nairobi, particularly at night, continues to be of concern.
Travellers arriving at JKIA should only use transportation
organized by reputable tour companies or well-marked taxis.
Currency should not be exchanged in the public areas of the
airport. Checked luggage may be pilfered at the airport.
Travellers should store their valuables in securely locked hand
luggage and suitcases.
Nairobi and its surrounding regions have experienced an increase
in violent incidents in recent months. There has been a
particularly high number of incidents involving the Mungiki
criminal gang and police forces, following the death of several
high-level members of the Mungiki sect in April 2008. Although
the majority of Mungiki-related incidents have been located in
and around Nairobi, this sect has spread its activities to other
parts of the country. In April 2009, fighting erupted between
residents of the town of Karatina in Central province and members
of this gang. More than 20 people were reportedly killed and
several others injured. In recent months, foreign nationals have
been the victims of daytime carjackings and kidnappings in
neighbourhoods normally deemed safe during daylight hours.
Travellers should be vigilant and avoid heavily populated areas
of major cities to minimize the risk of being caught up in
violent clashes. In Nairobi, travellers should particularly avoid
the Kibera, Mathare, Kasirani, and Eastleigh neighbourhoods.
There is high risk to your security throughout Kenya and we
advise against all tourist and other non-essential travel due to
the threat from terrorism, civil unrest and violent crime.
Violent crime including car-jacking, home invasion and armed
robbery is increasing. These attacks can occur anywhere at
anytime and can be fatal. New Zealanders are advised to be
extremely security conscious at all times and avoid travelling at
There is a high threat from terrorism in Kenya. Previous
terrorist attacks in Kenya have been against visibly Western
targets. Particular care should be taken in public and commercial
areas known to be frequented by foreigners including airports,
hotels, bars, restaurants, clubs, tourist areas, embassies,
shopping areas, outdoor recreation events and expatriate housing
*There is a high threat from terrorism in Kenya. Attacks could be
indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and
foreign travelers. Previous attacks have included a bomb attack
on a hotel, which resulted in significant loss of life, and an
unsuccessful attempt to bring down a civilian airliner in
Mombasa, both in November 2002.
There is a high threat from terrorism in Kenya. Attacks could be
indiscriminate, including in places frequented by expatriates and
foreign travelers. While there have not been any terrorist
attacks in Kenya since 2002, we know that Al-Qaeda has the
potential to carry out attacks against Western targets. The
leadership of Al-Shabaab, a Somalia based Islamist insurgency
group, have publicly threatened to attack Kenya should the Kenyan
government provide support to the Somali Transitional Federal
Muggings and armed attacks by gangs can occur at any time,
particularly in Nairobi and Mombasa.
Do not carry credit cards or cash cards unless you must: people
have been forced by thieves to withdraw cash. Beware of thieves
posing as police officers; always ask to see identification.
Jeffrey J. Neuman
Neustar, Inc. / Vice President, Law & Policy
46000 Center Oak Plaza Sterling, VA 20166
Office: +1.571.434.5772 Mobile: +1.202.549.5079 Fax:
+1.703.738.7965 / jeff.neuman@xxxxxxxxxxx /
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