- The Washington Times - Monday, January 7, 2008

Chaos in Kenya

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya relocated Peace Corps volunteers to neighboring Tanzania and warned American citizens to register with the embassy as political violence continued to escalate in the East African nation.

Officials today plan to reopen the embassy’s consular section, after closing it on Friday because of security concerns.

“The situation in Kenya continues to be volatile and subject to frequent change,” the embassy said in a statement on its Web site, https://nairobi.usembassy.gov. “There continues to be incidence of violence, demonstrations and looting in several neighborhoods of Nairobi and Mombasa and in large parts of the western-most provinces.”

Peace Corps volunteers in the Western towns of Busia, Kakamega, Kericho and Kisumu were moved to the Tanzanian capital of Dar es Salaam, the embassy announced on Friday.

Americans traveling to Kenya should expect flight delays, food shortages and sporadic telephone and Internet services. Banks and automated teller machines also have been running out of money, the embassy said.

It also warned Americans to avoid large gatherings, which may begin peaceably but break out quickly into violence.

“Events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence,” the embassy said. “American citizens should avoid public rallies and large gathering and should always carry a mobile phone or other means of communication.”

Americans living in Kenya or planning to visit should register with the embassy through the State Department’s Web site, https://travelregistration.state.gov.

Diplomatic traffic

Foreign visitors in Washington this week include:

Today

AlexanderVerkhovsky, director of the SOVA Center human rights organization in Moscow, who addresses the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the Kennan Institute at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars.

Tomorrow

President Abdullah Gul of Turkey, who meets with President Bush.

Wednesday

• Professors Haluk Kabaalioglu and Feroz Ahmad from Turkey’s Yeditepe University, and Gianmaria Ajani from Italy’s University of Turin. They participate in a discussion on the modern and traditional influences on Turkey at a forum at American University’s Washington College of Law.

Thursday

• Retired Gens. Klaus Naumann of Germany, Jacques Lanxade of France and Henk van den Breemen of the Netherlands and retiredField Marshal Peter Anthony Inge of Britain. Along with retired Gen. John Shalikashvili, a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, they present a report on the future of NATO in a briefing at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Steve Ouma Akoth, a human rights activist from Kenya; June Hartley, a labor union activist from South Africa; and Matsepo Anna Lehlokoana of the Clothing and Allied Workers’ Union of Lesotho. They participate in a panel discussion on the successes and failures of the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act at a conference at the Economic Policy Institute.

Paul Kavin Grey of Baker Tilly Tax and Advisory Services of London; Ching Mia Kuang of SBA Stone Forest of Shanghai; Shourya Mandal of Fox Mandal of Calcutta; and Dicky S.L. To of RSM Nelson Wheeler, Wanchai of Hong Kong. They address the annual International Issues Conference of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Bo Hia Tint of Burma’s National League for Democracy, who addresses the Nixon Center on the state of the opposition to the ruling military junta.

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297, fax 202/832-7278 or e-mail jmorrison@ washingtontimes.com.

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