Re: [council] FW: [REGYCON] FW: March 2009 Meeting in Kenya - Warnings
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- 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.
Covington & Burling LLP
1201 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20004-2401
direct fax: 202-778-5173
main fax: 202-662-6291
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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
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
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 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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