Israel to Resume Direct Flights to Kenya

By Joseph Ayonga and Richard Abura 

In boxing, buy more about it is unprofessional to hit an opponent below the belt.

If Kenya were in a boxing contest, help it can be said that in the past year, prostate it has endured very many punches below the belt on matters pertaining to security.

The Government of Kenya has conducted her affairs like a professional boxer. Kenya’s tourism has remained resilient, with increased promotion activities in the wake of skewed media reports on insecurity in the country.

This after Kenya Defense Forces officially became part of African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) in July 2012.

Anger and replying to unfounded reports has not been the Government’s style of assuring the world that Kenya is a safe tourist destination.

It is not clear why insecurity incidences in Kenya are given heightened publicity compared to worse scenarios elsewhere.  Similar occurrences happen around the world without attracting undue publicity.

Kenya continues to be the temporary home of the highest number of foreign journalists in this region and hosts refugees in their thousands because it is considered a safe haven. Any good or bad incident occurring in Kenya attracts world to attention.


Foreign Missions are split over insecurity. While some have asked their Citizens to leave Kenya other foreigners troop back to Kenya when they realise that only some pockets of Kenya may be considered ‘safety precautionary areas’.

Travel advisories may come as a blessing in disguise as some tourists flock to unique sites in areas like Ngong, Nakuru, Narok, Bungoma, Kisii, Limuru, Mount Kenya region and the Masai Mara Game Reserve, among others.

Tourists have opted not to limit their stay at the Coast. The Nabuyole Falls of Webuye in Western Kenya has recorded a reasonable growth in the number of international tourists.

Some foreign tourists are now popularising the famous ‘Bull-fighting ’ in Kakamega County, which is compared to the Tauromachia bull fights in Spain, Portugal, Southern France and some Latin American countries.

The Government of Kenya values the welfare of both foreign and domestic tourists. It has, therefore, become a norm for security personnel to patrol in the air, on the ground and in the waters during high tourism seasons.

Undercover detectives are deployed in large numbers as tourists enjoy themselves. Large cities like Nairobi and Mombasa seldom experience incidences of attacks on tourists.

Tourism and security experts predict resurgence in the tourism especially following indications that President Barrack Obama of United States of America may visit Kenya mid this year.

The African Union Peace and Security Council is backed by the United Nations to have the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) on an active regional peacekeeping mission. These efforts are now bearing fruit as the Al-Shabaab ragtag militia continue to disintegrate.

The AMISOM troops in Somalia are mandated to support transitional governmental structures, implement a national security plan, train the Somali security forces and assist in creating a secure environment for the delivery of humanitarian aid.

As part of its duties, AMISOM also supports the Federal Government of Somalia’s forces in their battle against Al-Shabaab militants.

The success of peace in Somalia will bring a more stable Somali Government, which will in return boost regional tourism and lead to more peace in Kenya especially along the Kenya-Somali border, which stretches for over 1,500km.
By Millicent Onyango

The Israeli ambassador to Kenya Shalom Cohen says airlines are free to resume direct flights between the two countries.

Direct flights to Kenya by Israeli airlines were stopped in 2002 over insecurity issues and are set to resume by February 2016.

“The decision to resume direct flights is meant to improve cultural interaction between the two countries and comes as a result of improved security both in Tel Aviv and Nairobi, generic ” said Mr Cohen during a meeting with Kenya Vice President William Ruto this week in Nairobi.

“I don’t think that Kenya is in any more security problems than any other country in the world, unhealthy ” said the ambassador, order implying that indeed terrorism is a worldwide problem.

He said there have been arrangements between the two countries to boost security at airports.

This will boost the tourism industry and trade between Kenya and Israel.

Israel’s security organisation Shin Bet in 2002 issued a statement on suspending flights to Kenya.

This was after British authorities also suspended flights between the United Kingdom and Kenya over fears of attacks on its planes.

Kenyan officials said then British and Israel move was an “overreaction.”

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