Kenya likely to offer election excitement next month

Kenya heads to the polls on March 4, so if you are headed there as a tourist be aware of the security situation. Remember, more than 1,000 people died and 600,000 were displaced in the inter-ethnic fighting that broke out during the disputed 2007 last election .

Also, the prospect for April doesn’t exactly augur peace. That’s when four Kenyans — including Uhuru Kenyatta, a frontrunner in the 2013 election — will face trial before the International Criminal Court (ICC) for their alleged role in post-election violence.

And with the stakes for political power so acrid, the risk of violence is high in the race to replace president Mwai Kibaki.

Some of the threats ahead embrace tension fuelled by the political unrest and a degree of anti-western feeling. Kidnapping in some areas in support of insurgents is a constant danger. Indeed, a number of fatal ambushes occurred last month and autos have been fired on by a gunman dressed in a police uniform. And the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office has also reported a spate of grenade, IED and armed attacks in Nairobi, Mombasa and Garissak, likely election-related activity.

– Murray Burt

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