A daddy blog.

03 February 2007


Two more high profile murder-robberies in Nairobi:
Either there is more crime or more publicity about it, perhaps because many of the recent victims have been diplomats. In September, the American military attaché to Kenya was shot by carjackers just outside his Nairobi home. In August, the Russian ambassador to Kenya was attacked by machete-wielding thugs during a stop along a Kenyan road. That same month, a Danish envoy had an eye gouged out by thieves during a holdup at a Kenyan resort.
No reporter's ever going to get satisfactory confirmation on what the trends are here. Are thugs targeting diplomats? Are they getting their AK's from Kenya's security forces? These questions usually just dissolve into nothing.

But when this story appears in the Times, you can be sure the reporter who wrote it knows a number of Kenyan elites who feel under siege. Those elites are deconstructing everything they know about the recent crimes: trying to figure out what it all means, how the victims could have saved themselves, and what the living can do to protect themselves going forward.

If I were still in Nairobi, my two cents would be: I don't like the guns these guys are using. The fact that these guys were carrying AK-47s seems to indicate that they were looking for a high-value target. You can carjack someone just fine--it's much easier, actually--with a pistol. Why the assault rifle?

Reports indicate that when the carjackers are carrying AKs, they often have a specific plan they're carrying out. If you're in the Kenyan elite, that's a scary indicator.