kenya lockdown as obama comes to talk security trade
Last Updated : GMT 09:42:23
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Kenya lockdown as Obama comes to talk security, trade

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Kenya lockdown as Obama comes to talk security, trade

An man rides a bicycle and a trailer
Nairobi - AFP

US President Barack Obama arrives in his ancestral homeland Kenya late Friday, with a massive security operation under way to protect him from Al-Qaeda-linked Somali militants.

Obama, making his first visit as president to his father's birthplace, will address an entrepreneurship summit and hold talks on trade and investment, security and counter-terrorism, and democracy and human rights.

"Despite its many challenges... Africa is a place of incredible dynamism, some of the fastest-growing markets in the world, extraordinary people, extraordinary resilience," Obama said in Washington late Wednesday.

"The opportunities are extraordinary, and we just have to break down the stereotypes and the barriers."

Parts of the Kenyan capital Nairobi will be locked down and airspace closed during the president's arrival late Friday and his departure late Sunday, when he travels up the Rift Valley to neighbouring Ethiopia, the seat of the African Union.

At least 10,000 police officers -- roughly one quarter of the entire national force -- will be deployed to the capital.

Top of the list of security concerns is Somalia's Shebab militia, which has staged a string of suicide attacks, massacres and bombings on Kenyan soil, including the bloody attack on the Westgate shopping mall in the heart of the capital nearly two years ago that left 67 dead.

- ICC shadow -

Excitement has been building in Kenya for weeks, with the visit painted as a major boost for the country's position as an African hub -- something that has taken a battering in recent years due to Shebab attacks and political violence that landed Kenyan leaders in the International Criminal Court.

"I need not tell you how eagerly we have all waited for the day, or how keen we all are to make it the most memorable of homecomings," Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta told reporters this week.

"It's a vote of confidence for our city and our country," Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero also told AFP.

He has overseen a clean-up campaign in Nairobi, including the filling of potholes, sweeping of streets, the repainting of faded road markings and laying new pavements on once muddy sidewalks.

Obama is celebrated as a hero throughout the country, yet many Kenyans have been disappointed it has taken him until almost the end of his second term in office to make the trip.

A presidential visit to Kenya had been put on ice while Kenyatta faced charges of crimes against humanity for his role in 2007-2008 post-election violence. The ICC has since dropped the case, citing a lack of evidence and accusing Kenya of bribing or intimidating witnesses.

Kenyatta, however, has signalled that his controversial Deputy President William Ruto -- who is still on trial at the ICC and is outspokenly homophobic, describing gays as "dirty" -- would be present when government officials meet Obama.

- Overwhelming security -

Asked whether gay rights would be discussed, Kenyatta said: "That is a non-issue to the people of this country, and it is definitely not on our agenda at all."

"The fight against terror will be central, we have been working in very close cooperation with American agencies," Kenyatta said. "Poverty, improved health for our people, better education, better roads, better security, these are our key focuses."

Counter-terrorism will also be a key topic for discussion, with Nairobi the scene of one of Al-Qaeda's twin 1998 US embassy bombings.

Obama is due to address an international business summit in Nairobi on Saturday, an event the US embassy itself warned could be "a target for terrorists".

"The American president is a high-value target so an attack, or even an attempt, would raise the profile of Shebab," warned Richard Tutah, a Nairobi-based security and terrorism expert.

Mitigating that is an overwhelming security presence in the capital, which regional security analyst Abdullahi Halakhe described as "suffocating".

Hundreds of American security personnel have arrived in Kenya in recent weeks.

In a press conference in Washington this month Obama bemoaned the heavy security restrictions.

"I will be honest with you, visiting Kenya as a private citizen is probably more meaningful to me than visiting as president, because I can actually get outside of the hotel room or a conference centre," Obama said.

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

kenya lockdown as obama comes to talk security trade kenya lockdown as obama comes to talk security trade

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

kenya lockdown as obama comes to talk security trade kenya lockdown as obama comes to talk security trade

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Jordanian woman reveals her project

GMT 00:46 2017 Saturday ,11 November

Jordanian woman reveals her project
Arab Today, arab today Visit Jamaica for more than just sun

GMT 09:45 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

Visit Jamaica for more than just sun
Arab Today, arab today Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings

GMT 11:14 2017 Friday ,10 November

Keep kids busy at Thanksgiving gatherings
Arab Today, arab today UN warns of conflict in Gaza

GMT 08:39 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

UN warns of conflict in Gaza
Arab Today, arab today Missouri problem mirrors woes

GMT 06:46 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

Missouri problem mirrors woes
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Australian academic's book pulled

GMT 15:20 2017 Monday ,13 November

Australian academic's book pulled
Arab Today, arab today May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit

GMT 02:14 2017 Saturday ,18 November

May under Brexit pressure at EU reform summit
Arab Today, arab today Delhi half-marathon to go ahead

GMT 03:51 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Delhi half-marathon to go ahead
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today VW says will invest over 34bn euros

GMT 07:19 2017 Tuesday ,21 November

VW says will invest over 34bn euros
Arab Today, arab today Driverless, electric future just round

GMT 02:45 2017 Monday ,20 November

Driverless, electric future just round
Arab Today, arab today Singer Jahda Wahba has unlimited ambitions

GMT 07:56 2017 Monday ,20 November

Singer Jahda Wahba has unlimited ambitions
Arab Today, arab today paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 16:04 2017 Friday ,17 November

paObama climate envoy slams Trump's rejection

GMT 09:23 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Fedra happy for “Between Two Worlds” success

GMT 11:15 2017 Thursday ,16 November

Angola oil boss sacked by father's protege

GMT 18:41 2017 Friday ,20 October

Designer Aql Faqih aspires to innovation

GMT 11:38 2017 Wednesday ,15 November

Unloved vultures fight for their survival

GMT 11:49 2017 Thursday ,17 August

Egyptian artist presents new collection of designs

GMT 00:54 2017 Monday ,20 November

Mideast in danger as London explores

GMT 03:12 2017 Saturday ,18 November

Prince's vision spurs new Cornwall village

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday