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

Marilyn Cade marilynscade at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 10 02:52:43 UTC 2009

thanks for posting this.
This an interesting issue. 
Venue, venue, venue. and secured transport. All important considerations. 
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. 
Marilyn Cade 

From: icann at rodenbaugh.com
To: bc-gnso at icann.org
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.


Mike Rodenbaugh


548 Market Street

San Francisco, CA  94104

(415) 738-8087


From: owner-council at gnso.icann.org
[mailto:owner-council at gnso.icann.org] 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 at icann.org; Kurt Pritz; greg.rattray at icann.org; Neuman,

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


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 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 other credentials. 

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


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:


    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


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 &

46000 Center Oak Plaza Sterling, VA 20166

Office: +1.571.434.5772  Mobile: +1.202.549.5079  Fax: +1.703.738.7965 / jeff.neuman at neustar.biz
 / www.neustar.biz

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