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Re: [council] FW: [REGYCON] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings

  • To: <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Subject: Re: [council] FW: [REGYCON] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings
  • From: "Rosette, Kristina" <krosette@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Thu, 10 Dec 2009 09:19:52 -0500
  • List-id: council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Sender: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Thread-index: Acp4/u5w+4A2Vy/lSNSgnj5lSWlrlAAAAzFgAAF61iAAJ7w2oQ==
  • Thread-topic: [REGYCON] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings

Would it be possible to receive a briefing about this issue from ICANN staff at 
our meeting next week? 

I realize the request provides only a week's lead time, but the security issue 
is an important one (if not the dispositive one) in deciding whether to seek 
travel support and, if so, for whom.

If there are concerns about having the briefing recorded, I would have no 
objection to having that portion of the meeting not be recorded.



Kristina Rosette 
Covington & Burling LLP 
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. 
Washington, DC 20004-2401 
voice: 202-662-5173 
direct fax: 202-778-5173 
main fax: 202-662-6291 
e-mail: krosette@xxxxxxx 

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Sent from my Wireless Handheld 


From: owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx <owner-council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
To: GNSO Council <council@xxxxxxxxxxxxxx> 
Sent: Wed Dec 09 14:27:31 2009
Subject: [council] FW: [REGYCON] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings 

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; Neuman, Jeff
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 be required.


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.






United States

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 worship.



*CRIME:* There is a high rate of crime in all regions of Kenya, particularly 
Nairobi, Mombasa, Kisumu, and at coastal beach resorts. 

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 


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 other 

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 Kenya.


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 hours.


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 at

    this time due to the high risk of terrorist attack, civil unrest

    and high crime levels.

  * We are receiving an increasing number of reports that terrorists

    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, tourist

    resorts, safari lodges and other places frequented by foreigners

    may be particular targets. In planning your activities, you should

    avoid the kinds of places known to be terrorist targets.

  * Foreign embassies, hotels and commercial airlines in Kenya have

    been targeted by terrorists in the past and remain potential

    targets. See Safety and Security: Terrorism


    for details.




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.



New Zealand

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 night.


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 areas.



*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 Government (TFG).



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 <mailto:jeff.neuman@xxxxxxxxxxx>   / www.neustar.biz 


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