NAIROBI, Kenya, May 19 – The United Nations Headquarters in Nairobi (UNON) has heightened its security in the face of increased terror activity in the country.
UNON Director General Sahle-Work Zewde has therefore directed that several measures be taken including further restricting entry into their Gigiri complex only to persons with official business.
“Unfortunately, Kenya has been a consistent target of terrorist groups over the last several months, the latest tragic attacks having occurred on May 16 at the Gikomba Market,” she explained in a communiqué to UNON staff.
And in the drive to restrict access to the UNON complex, Zewde also directed that guided tours of the facility be suspended and deliveries be restricted to the hours 6pm and 10pm.
“Deliveries should be announced beforehand and the registration number and names of the driver provided to the Security and Safety Service in advance,” she underscored.
She also directed that the UN Petrol Station be shut down temporarily and alternative fuelling options sought.
“All Staff and all Agencies, Funds and Programmes with official vehicles should make alternative arrangements for fuelling their vehicles,” she stated.
Managers have also been encouraged to provide a flexible working environment by staggering work hours, through telecommuting and a compressed work week.
“This will, inter alia, reduce the congestion along UN Avenue,” she explained.
The UN recreation centre and commissary, Zewde added, would also forthwith only cater to UN Staff.
“Visitors will not be allowed, and access will only be granted to those with a valid UN Identification Card, duly programmed for the pedestrian turnstiles within the UNON complex,” she said.
The increased security measures at the UNON complex follow travel advisories issued by the United Kingdom and the United States of America which is also expected to make staffing changes to its Kenyan Embassy in the near future.
“The most important responsibility of every US ambassador and embassy is to protect American citizens and to keep them informed,” the US Ambassador to Kenya Robert Godec explained.
READ: US signals staff cut at Nairobi embassy over terror threats
The Kenyan government has however said the travel advisories as unnecessary and an over-reaction as it has the security situation in the country firmly in hand.