France ought to have lifted travel advisories ages ago
20 December 2015, 11:29
The apparent hapless euphoria, excitement and enthusiasm exuded by Najib Balala and an army of staff at the Ministry of Tourism following the cancellation of the crippling travel advisories targeting a host of coastal towns, are, to me, an unnecessary sideshow.
Not only is it hypocritical for a country like France which continues to bear the heaviest brunt of Islamic Extremist’s onslaught in their very own backyard, but also a stab in the back by an ‘ally’ in the so-called war on terrorism.
The Charlie Hebdo’s massacre had hardly receded in the back of the minds of French men and women when yet another massacre targeting innocent civilians took place in Paris by alleged Islamic State adherents. That alone, coupled with the fact that other Western Countries have proven not to be immune to terrorist attacks, renders travel advisories against developing countries such as Kenya (who heavily rely on tourism for its financial and budgetary needs) totally unnecessary.
Just a fortnight ago, a couple feared to be covert sympathetic followers of the savage, barbaric, archaic and bloodthirsty Islamic State, took 14 innocent lives of Americans. Some few months ago, a hidden bomb exploded mid-air killing 224 Russian tourists in Egypt. The Islamic State claimed responsibility and Russians have since echoed such sentiments by insinuating that the accident might have in deed been a result of a bomb and not mechanical failure.
The point is, terrorists have no limits and boundaries. They are an invincible enemy whose schemes of instilling terror on unprepared civilians globally continue mutating every second and thus making it even difficult to tame and evade imminent attacks.
After September 11 terrorist attack in America, the world mourned with America and stood by Americans each step of the way. In solidarity, African countries helped in the little ways they could. Not a single European nation issued travel advisories…similar sentiments embraced France just the other day.
Why then did it take the French foreign ministry almost two years for them to lift travel advisories that almost literally brought the tourism sector in the country to its knees? Why do some other European nations (ironically still grappling with terrorism in its shores, towns, and cities day in day out) still hell-bend on punishing Kenyans using ‘insecurity’ as a pretext when the coast and the entire country at large is so secure?
I hope the French admittance betrayed by lifting the travel advisories) will serve as a wake up call for other Western Countries. Kenya is as safe as France; Nairobi is just as vulnerable as Paris and so are other European cities.
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