Kenyan Residents Protesting Lack of Safety
In the eastern African nation of Kenya, a sense of insecurity along with recent violent acts against the general public have driven recent protests against the current government. The country is experiencing many different events that could impact health and safety as well as travel and business operations. Voice of America reported that local activists have started demonstrations in streets and town centers to call for the removal of two high-level officials:the country's chief of police and the interior cabinet secretary. The protests have spread to the capital of Nairobi, an area where much of the heaviest business activity is concentrated in Kenya.
Bus attack spurred protests
One of the events that spurred the movement was a fatal attack on a transport bus in the northeast region of the country. Voice of America reported militant faction al-Shabab killed a total of 28 people in the action, which could be an indication of future violence in the region. The BBC reported that many non-Muslim residents of that part of Kenya have congregated around a military air field in the region and are asking to be evacuated - to become internal refugees, in a sense - due to fears of increased attacks. There are fears among local residents that al-Shabab, which is based in neighboring Somalia, could increase its campaign of terror in the coming weeks and months.
Government under pressure
Protestors haven't gone so far as to call for the resignation or impeachment of President Uhuru Kenyatta, but many of the demonstrations have focused around his office in the capital city of Nairobi. Kenyatta has recently been out of the country, according to Voice of America, but his physical absence hasn't deterred those advocating for increased protections for citizens. In one of the first major interactions between Kenyan police and the protestors, law enforcement officials launched tear gas to break up the group outside the president's office.
A variety of potential problems
The current situation in Kenya is unique because it involves both violent incidents that have left some parts of the country at risk and unrest on the part of citizens. The escalation of either or both of these situations will make it tough for companies to conduct any sort of business in the country, whether that involves corporate travel to the area on a limited basis or the continuing use of existing operational assets.
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