Kenya: tourism minister issues open letter regarding piracy

According to eTurboNews, the Kenyan tourism minister Najib Balala has issued the follwoing open letter:”The Government of Kenya is working closely with British, French and international authorities to ensure that acts of piracy; such as that committed [on October 2] on Manda Island; by Somali nationals are stopped and that hostages are released. It has been widely acknowledged today that the containment of the long term problems of Somalia within that country’s borders has become a major international problem. Kenya, working closely with its allies and the United Nations, is doing everything within its power to ensure that the effects of the blight and unrest, which have affected Somalia for so long, does not further encroach across Kenyan borders either by land or sea. We wish to point out to all our international visitors and our friends in the travel trade that the recent despicable acts of Somali pirates have only affected a small part of our territory. A glance at the map will show that these events have occurred hundreds of kilometres away from the coastal and inland destinations which are so popular with the majority of our visitors. With the small exception of the northern coast none of our visitor destinations are in any way affected by the changes in some country’s travel advisories which were announced overnight. Tourism, being an important sector within Kenya’s economy and a major employer, the Government will spare no efforts to ensure that our visitors enjoy their holidays and stay in Kenya without any apprehension. More details will be given as soon as they become available.”Source: eTurboNews, Oct. 5, 2011

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