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Cablegate: Country Clearance Granted for Codel Payne (August

VZCZCXYZ0005
PP RUEHWEB

DE RUEHNR #1892/01 2171228
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
P 041228Z AUG 08
FM AMEMBASSY NAIROBI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC PRIORITY 6688
INFO RUEHBS/AMEMBASSY BRUSSELS 2081
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0387
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 2120
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 5134

UNCLAS NAIROBI 001892

CODEL
SIPDIS

AF/E FOR MARIA BEYZEROV, AF/RSA FOR KATHLEEN MOODY, H FOR
ANDREW MACDERMOTT

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: OREP AMGT ASEC AFIN KE
SUBJECT: COUNTRY CLEARANCE GRANTED FOR CODEL PAYNE (AUGUST
6-9 AND 11, 2008)

REF: SECSTATE 81708

1. Embassy Nairobi grants country clearance and welcomes
CODEL Payne.
Country clearance is granted subject to the actual security
situation at
the time of proposed travel. The embassy switchboard number
is 254-20-363-6000
and the after-hours number is 254-20-363-6170. Control
officer is Rachel Meyers,
work International Voice Gateway (IVG) telephone number
8-871-6071, cell
phone 254-727-531-383, email MeyersRL@state.gov. Hotel
accommodation
has been arranged at the Intercontinental hotel at a cost of
US$199
inclusive of breakfast and taxes. The hotel telephone number
is
254-20-32-00-000, and the hotel facsimile number is
254-20-32-00-030.
Ms. Meyers will meet the CODEL on arrival with Embassy motor
pool
transport to the hotel.

2. Security assessment:

- There is currently a travel warning in effect for Kenya,
which
states that "American Citizens should evaluate their personal
security in light of continuing terrorist threats and the
limited
ability of the Kenyan authorities to detect and deter such
acts."
The U.S. Government continues to receive indications of
terrorist
threats in the region aimed at American and western interests,
including civil aviation, and that the Kenyan government
might not be
able to prevent such attacks.

- Nairobi is designated a critical threat post for
transnational
threat and crime by the Department of State. The RSO is
required to
brief all TDY visitors staying more than two weeks are
required to
attend a security briefing by the RSO at the regularly
scheduled
security briefing at 9:00 a.m. on Thursdays. Personnel on
official
USG business are required to stay in RSO approved hotels.
You may
obtain the list from your sponsoring office.

- Violent crime in Nairobi is sharply rising. Carjacking, in
order
to commit an armed robbery, is the most common form of crime
in
Nairobi. In virtually every instance, carjackers use weapons
to rob
and carjack their victims. Most victims, if they are
completely
cooperative, are usually released unharmed, with their
vehicles.
However, victims are sometimes tied up and put in the back
seat or
trunk of their own car. Criminals who commit these crimes
will not
hesitate to shoot a victim who is the least bit
uncooperative, or may
appear to hesitate before complying with their assailant.
The RSO
recommends that if confronted with a criminal incident,
victims
acquiesce immediately and quietly. Put your hands where they
can be
seen and avert your eyes. Though this does not guarantee your
personal safety it is more likely you will survive the
incident.

- Street crime is particularly bad in downtown Nairobi and
Uhuru Park
and mission personnel are strongly urged to avoid the
downtown area
after dark. Throughout the country reports of group attacks

and
muggings are on the rise. Pickpockets and thieves carry out
"snatch
and run" crimes on city streets and near crowds. Large public
functions are particularly vulnerable to rings of organized
thieves.
Visitors have found it safer not to carry valuables, but
rather to
store them in hotel safety deposit boxes or in room safes.
The RSO
recommends leaving all important documents (passports, plane
tickets,
etc.) in a hotel safe and not wearing any jewelry on the
street. In
addition, visitors should avoid hanging a camera around their
necks,
handbags on the backs of chairs, carrying a protruding
wallet, and
carrying or showing large amounts of money in public.

- While traveling in vehicles, doors should be kept locked and
windows rolled up. Highway bandits are active on roads
leading to
the border areas and some areas in the northeastern portion
of the
country require special RSO approval prior to travel.

- The Government of Kenya (and the Mission firearms policy)
prohibit
the importing and carrying of firearms except for U.S. law
enforcement officers engaged in protective security or
investigative
duties.

3. Climate: Weather conditions in Nairobi are sunny and mild
year-round with daily temperatures ranging between 50 and 80
degrees
Fahrenheit. In April and May, it rains frequently and daytime
temperatures are lower. From June through September, dry,
but often
cloudy weather persists with cool nights. From October through
November there is occasional rain, but most days are sunny
and warm.

4. Health: Due to the high altitude, Nairobi is not a
malarial area
and malaria prophylaxis is not needed; but the risk of malaria
outside Nairobi is significant. Therefore, if you are
planning to
travel outside Nairobi, particularly to areas below 3,500 feet
elevation, it is advisable to begin using oral malarial
medication
before arrival and for four weeks following departure. In
addition,
every effort should be made to use insect repellents, proper
clothing, and barriers which discourage/prevent mosquito
bites.
Travelers should also carry immunization records with valid
yellow
fever immunization as well as being current with other
inoculations.
The embassy medical unit advises that local tap water is not
potable.
Bottled water is safe to drink and can be purchased in local
hotels,
restaurants and grocery stores. Individuals with sickle cell
trait
should carefully consider the altitude of this post.
Short-term
(TDY) assignments carry an added risk because of the lack of
time for
acclimatization. Dehydration and stress from exercise or
illness
compound the basic risks of high altitude. For more
information
about sickle cell trait, contact your health unit or the
medical
clearances section of the Office of Medical Services.

5. Money matters:

- Credit cards are accepted at major hotels and restaurants,
with VISA and Mastercard being the cards of choice.
- The current rate of exchange is approximately 65 shillings
to the US dollar.


6. Entry requirements: A visa to enter Kenya is mandatory.
This
applies to U.S. citizens arriving for any purpose and
regardless of
type of passport. Travelers may obtain a visa in advance at
a Kenyan
embassy or consulate. Alternatively, a visa can be obtained
at the
airport for a voucherable charge of 50 U.S. dollars, but
lines may be
long and processing time slow. Evidence of yellow fever
immunization
is usually requested upon entry to Kenya.
RANNEBERGER

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