Kenya Tourism Minister speaks out at UNWTO

Atta Internal Memo

Kenya Tourism minister Najib Balala has called for intervention from the international community in war-torn Somalia as its conflict was affecting neighbouring countries in East Africa.

In a widely reported speech Balala told the UNWTO conference in South Korea yesterday that "instability in Somalia was impacting negatively on countries such as Kenya by posing security risks”. He emphasised that the problem in Somalia "requires an international solution that will permanently restore regional peace and security".

Highlighting the progress that Kenya had made in tourism in the past years, Balala said the threats posed by the neighbouring Somalia was in turn threatening to bring down the gains that the tourism industry had made not just in Kenya but throughout East Africa and this must be reversed.

His speech was strongly supported by Tourism Ministers from Mozambique and Tanzania who have also reported that tourism is being affected by the escalation of piracy in East Africa.