Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

top
Capital News

Kenya

US signals staff cut at Nairobi embassy over terror threats

A statement from the US ambassador to Kenya, said the embassy was "continuously reviewing and updating its security measures, and expects to take additional steps in coming days, to include on US staffing"/XINHUA-File

A statement from the US ambassador to Kenya, said the embassy was “continuously reviewing and updating its security measures, and expects to take additional steps in coming days, to include on US staffing”/XINHUA-File

NAIROBI, May 17 – The United States signalled Saturday that it could cut staff levels at its Nairobi embassy because of the mounting threat of attacks in Kenya by Islamist militants.

A statement from the US ambassador to Kenya, Robert F. Godec, said the embassy was “continuously reviewing and updating its security measures, and expects to take additional steps in coming days, to include on US staffing.”

“Unfortunately, the US government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at both Kenyans and the international community,” Godec said.

“The most important responsibility of every US ambassador and embassy is to protect American citizens and to keep them informed.”
The statement comes amid a wave of bomb attacks in Kenya’s capital Nairobi and port city of Mombasa that authorities have blamed on militants connected to Somalia’s Al-Qaeda-linked Shabaab rebels.

On Friday a double bomb attack in a Nairobi market left 10 dead and scores wounded.

According to US embassy staff, security around the embassy has already been stepped up and certain departments currently based inside the compound may be relocated to embassies in neighbouring Tanzania or Ethiopia, which are seen as far lower risk.

Embassy staff said the ambassador has already signalled internally this week that the “footprint” of the Nairobi embassy, which has more than 1,000 staff, would be reduced – although the statement from the ambassador insisted that “we remain open for normal operations and have no plan to close.”

At least 200 people were killed when Al-Qaeda bombed the US embassy in Nairobi in 1998, and US diplomats then moved to a more secure compound outside the city centre.

Any decision to cut staff at the US embassy would be another major blow to Kenya’s position as an east African regional hub for embassies and businesses.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

“If the Americans decide to make a structural adjustment rather than a temporary relocation of staff, then other countries are certain to follow. It shows they know something and haven’t been reassured by the Kenyan authorities,” a European diplomat, who asked not to be named, told AFP.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

You May Also Like

Kenya

Mwitiki became famous during the January 15-16 DusitD2 attack, after his picture and that of Starehe politician Steve Mbogo holding sophisticated firearms went viral.

Corona Virus

NAIROBI, Kenya Mar 11 – China has now come out to help nations affected by coronavirus, after managing the crisis at home. On Wednesday,...

Capital Health

Frankfurt am Main, Germany, Mar 29 – Thomas Schaefer, the finance minister of Germany’s Hesse state, has committed suicide apparently after becoming “deeply worried” over how...

Capital Health

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 13 – Kenya has confirmed the first case of coronavirus which the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a global pandemic on...