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Why would terrorist gang target Riverside complex for attack?

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“DusitD2 Nairobi is a vibrant city hotel retreat where style, entertainment and art converge. Cocooned away from the city’s hustle and bustle and in a secure and peaceful haven off the leafy suburb of 14 Riverside Drive, it is just minutes from the central business district and merely a stone’s throwaway from the heart of Nairobi’s pulsing social scene,” says the hotel’s website.

“With unique spaces that balance a modern yet timeless aesthetic in an intimate boutique setting, DusitD2 Nairobi is the very definition of contemporary chic.

Offering world class cuisine from its array of bars and restaurants, stylish and spacious guestrooms, unique event spaces, the award winning Deverana Spa and a striking red swimming pool, DusitD2 Nairobi is the perfect urban retreat for both work and play,” it goes on, perhaps providing some clues on why the heartless bunch of terrorists could have targeted the five star hotel-cum-office block on Tuesday afternoon, killing 14 people.

Situated on 14 Riverside Drive, DusitD2 is perhaps one of the few hotels in Nairobi that share neighbourhoods with three Western embassies — Australian, Dutch and German — making it a popular haunt for Western diplomats and affluent Kenyans.

The complex is also home to offices of international companies including Colgate Palmolive, Reckitt Benckiser, Pernod Ricard, Dow Chemical and SAP.

READ ALSO:   The GSU officer who was felled by terrorist’s bullet mourned

According to Abdullahi Abdille of the International Crisis Group (ICG), the proximity to the three Western embassies could have informed the choice of the hotel as the ideal target, given the international attention it was bound to create.

“You realise since the Westgate attack, the terrorists have

never raided Nairobi, choosing to concentrate their attacks in the northern counties such as Mandera and Garissa and to an extent Lamu.

These attacks have not yielded the attention they normally crave, so it was only natural that they hit a target in Nairobi for maximum attention and what better target than a hotel in a neighbourhood teeming with Western embassies,” he noted.

The architectural design of the hotel, with its single drive way, making it very difficult for two vehicles to drive in and out of the complex simultaneously, may have also made it an ideal target for the terrorists as it hindered the free movement of security forces, giving the terrorists ample time to carry out their heinous acts.

Mwenda Mbijiwe, a security expert, however, expressed surprise at the choice of the hotel, maintaining that it was not a smart target. “I am seeing a Jewish nexus in the whole attack,” he said.

“I am really baffled at the choice of the hotel as a target, even the mere fact that they only managed to kill 21 people, going by the official figures. The fact that our security forces managed to evacuate more than 700 people should tell you that the attack failed miserably,’ he added.

READ ALSO:   American who survived 9/11 dies in Riverside attack

The Tuesday afternoon raid occurred on the third anniversary of the El Adde attack in Somalia, which saw Somali militia overrun an African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom) army base on January 15, 2016, killing more than 100 soldiers, a stark reminder that the terror threat is far from being neutralised.

Ever since the El Adde attack, the terror group has been trying to carry out attacks in Nairobi with little success. In February last year, police foiled a major attack in Nairobi after they arrested several armed suspects in Merti, Isiolo, as they headed to the capital city.

Source: Daily Nation

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Uhuru announces end of public commemoration of his father’s death

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President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday announced the end of a 41-year-old tradition that was upheld by former President Daniel Arap Moi and his predecessor, the third President Mwai Kibaki.

President Kenyatta declared an end to public observation of August 22, as the day Kenya’s founding President, Mzee Jomo Kenyatta died.

The President stated that the decision had been arrived at following consultations with the larger Kenyatta family.

President Uhuru spoke while accompanied  by First Lady Margaret Kenyatta during the laying of a wreath at the mausoleum of  Mzee Kenyatta as part of activities to commemorate the 41st anniversary since his death in 1978. Present too was Deputy President, William Ruto.

More to follow…

READ ALSO:   American newspaper New York Times declines to pull down graphic images on Dusit attack
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Reprieve for families in Ethiopian Airlines crash as renowned US lawyer takes up case 

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Kenya was the worst hit when Ethiopian Airlines plane Boeing 737 MAX 8 crashed near the town of Bishoftu on 10th March 2019 killing all 157 passengers on board. A total of 32 Kenyans died in that crash, making Kenya the most affected country.

It has been five months since the deadly Ethiopian Airlines crash, affected families have been locked in a legal tussle with US plane manufacturer Boeing for close to half a year now.

Families who lost their kin in the deadly crash can now breathe a sigh of relief as renowned US-based lawyer Manuel von Ribbeck has filed additional lawsuits against Boeing.

For starters, Manuel von Ribbeck is a lawyer who focuses on representing victims of catastrophic incidents, including aviation disasters from human or mechanical errors.

Manuel von Ribbeck (left)Manuel von Ribbeck (left)

Lion Air

Ribbeck is basically the hope of many aircraft accident victims throughout the world. He also represented families who lost their kin in Indonesian carrier – Lion Air Flight 610, which is the same model with Ethiopian Airlines plane Boeing 737 MAX 8. The October 29th 2018 Lion Air crash killed all 189 passengers and crew on board.

Ribbeck’s law firm – Ribbeck Law Chartered and its co-counsels Global Aviation Law Group and Igeria and Ngugi Advocates filed additional lawsuits against Boeing in the case involving Ethiopian Airlines plane crash.

READ ALSO:   IN PICTURES: This man Inayat Kassam

A total of 66 affected family members are seeking $1 billion/Ksh 100 billion in compensation for damages from the American plane manufacturer.

The renowned lawyer seeks to consolidate the Lion Air and Ethiopian Airlines cases if no settlement is reached soon for his clients. The law firms argue that consolidating the two cases will solve the issue of contradicting orders if the cases are handled by different judges.

By Ghafla

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Catholic doctors oppose cervical cancer vaccination

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The government is set to roll out mass vaccination of girls against cervical cancer in two weeks, even as doctors affiliated to the Catholic Church have contested the move citing a myriad of health complications.

The Ministry of Health will give 10-year-old girls two free doses of the vaccine against the cancer-causing human papilloma virus (HPV), six months apart, at about 9,000 public, private and faith-based facilities countrywide.

The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends vaccination of all girls and screening, at least once every year, for older women to reduce cancer risk, and the vaccine is most effective when administered between the ages of nine and 14.

There are about 100 types of HPV, of which at least 14 cause cancer. Two HPV types (16 and 18) cause 70 per cent of cervical cancers and cervical lesions.

The ministry met its partners Tuesday morning in preparation for the HPV national roll-out and to touch base on the local cancer landscape.

“The HPV vaccine is an extraordinary vaccine. It is the most effective means of preventing cervical cancer and is very safe. I am also a father of girls and all of them have received the vaccine. By vaccinating our girls against HPV we are preventing the disease for life. They will be able to grow, live up to their full potential and prosper,” said WHO Kenya Rep Dr Rudi Eggers, during the briefing.

MoH targets to reduce cases of cancer of the cervix — the second most common in Kenya after breast cancer, according to recent statistics released by the International Agency for Research on Cancer.

READ ALSO:   Friends, family mourn young bubbly woman killed in Riverside terror attack

The disease claims about seven women in Kenya every day, about 3,000 per year, according to statistics from the MoH.

There are about 40,000 new cervical cancer cases annually. Globally, it is the fourth most frequent cancer in women.

“It is unfortunate that we lose seven women to cancer every day. This is preventable through vaccination. If you prevent HPV infection then you can prevent cervical cancer,” said the Ministry of Health Head of Immunisation, Dr Collins Tabu, during the stakeholders meeting held Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Kenya Catholic Doctors Association (KCDA), in a 19-page document, questioned the decision to have 10-year-old girls vaccinated against HPV.

The doctors said their objection to the roll-out of the vaccine was backed by “studies” that indicated that the HPV vaccine was harmful to humans. “At 10 years, our children are not sexually active. They are not at risk of contracting HPV or other STDs. This applies also to other individuals who are not sexually active. It also includes those who are sexually active but faithful to their partners,” said the KCDA chairman, Dr Stephen Karanja, in the statement.

“It therefore makes neither logical nor scientific sense to expose children to a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease that they are not at risk of contracting. These children must be protected by everyone including the government from promiscuity and helped to remain chaste.”

Top health experts, however, termed the claims “sensational and unfounded.” Kenyatta National Hospital’s (KNH) top gynaecologist and surgeon Dr Alfred Mokomba said past clinical researches showed that the vaccine was effective and safe for use on children.

He said the vaccine was a preventive measure and was cheaper than cancer treatment, and would bring down the local cancer burden.

READ ALSO:   American who survived 9/11 dies in Riverside attack

“The work of a vaccine is to provide cushion before exposure and that is how they work better-because the body builds up defence against the virus. I have taken my daughters for the vaccination; it is safe. Those opposed have no case at all, they need to come up with better evidence to show the risks,” he said.

“What we know so far is that the vaccine provides 90 per cent defence against cervical cancer. Two researches conducted at the KNH showed that the HPV vaccine was effective in dealing with the HPV types 16 and 18 virus — the common causes of cervical cancer locally,” added Dr Mokomba.

According to the Catholic doctors, the virus, like sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), affected those “whose lifestyle involves irresponsible sexual behaviours”.

They, therefore, recommend that the government should ensure parents are empowered to “protect their children from contamination socially, mentally, spiritually, and physically from a world full of pornography.

“STDs are diseases of behaviour. When people of whatever age respect sexual discipline, chastity, abstinence and faithfulness in marriage, they are not at risk of contracting STDs and other diseases of perversity. These behaviours are the universal pillars of prevention of STDs, not vaccines,” said Dr Karanja. However, Mr David Makumi, the vice-chairman of Non-Communicable Diseases Alliance of Kenya and patron Oncology Nurses (Kenya), said the KCDA’s claims were not backed by facts and that they did not represent every Catholic’s position.

“We have a golden opportunity and if we can fix this then we will have done a great job. We owe it to our children,” said Mr Makumi. Rumours of potential harm from vaccines are not new and continue to spread even as scientists refute the claims. Locally, select groups affiliated to the Catholic Church have in the past opposed polio and tetanus vaccination drives. In all instances, the government has carried on with its plans. However, a number of people fail to take their children for vaccination for fear of the “risks” pointed out by the church — which is an authority — putting others in danger.

READ ALSO:   The GSU officer who was felled by terrorist’s bullet mourned

Mistrust in vaccines, for instance in America, has led to the worst Measles outbreak in 25 years.

As Kenya targets girls with the HPV vaccine, countries like Australia are also targeting boys to totally wipe-out the circulation of the cancer causing virus from its population.

Since HPV is transmitted sexually, vaccinating boys works in reducing its circulation of the virus linked to five per cent of cancers.

It is also a preventive measure for penile, anal and genital cancers and those of the head and neck.

Multiple studies in Australia indicate that the HPV vaccine has proven sufficient in providing protection. Australia’s Cervical Cancer screening programs ambitious plan includes wiping out cervical cancer by 2035.

Cost and access remains the greatest impediments towards early screening and treatment of cancer in Kenya to date.

Screening cost from about Sh3,000. Treatment too is costly with charges ranging Sh172,000 ($1,720) to Sh759,000 ($7,590) to treat cervical cancer without surgery in Kenya and Sh672,000 ($6,720) to Sh1.2 million ($12,500) if an operation is carried out, says the National Cancer Control Programme

by nation.co.ke

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