News Release


Kenya Uncovers a Threat of Terror

Aon WorldAware Issues Travel Warning

Security at major airports has been raised after intelligence was uncovered of impending attacks by al-Shabaab militants. This is according to Eric Kiraithe, head of security at Kenya Airports Authority. As per reports, as many as eleven militants underwent airborne suicide training in Somalia and may be planning to carry out an attack as early as March.

Several airports were mentioned, including the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, Wilson Airport and the Moi International Airport in the coastal region. Kiraithe added that domestic flights are the primary targets.

Andre Van Tonder from Aon Sub Sahara Africa's Crisis Management Team says that although no specific details were provided, all travellers should be cognisant of the terror threat to airports. "Travelers are advised to ensure that enhanced security precautions and robust travel management plans are developed prior to arrival. In the event of an attack, seek immediate cover and only move if in immediate danger. Once in a safe area, stand fast and immediately inform someone (either a project coordinator, security support or a member of risk management) of your location and wait for further assistance. Minimise unnecessary time spent around potential terrorist targets, including so-called 'soft' targets such as bars, restaurants, shopping centres, markets or public areas where large crowds of people are known to congregate," suggests Van Tonder.

Aon's WorldAware Operations Centre in Johannesburg supports its principle WorldAware Operations Centre in Chicago. "The aim is to supply Aon WorldAware clients with more regional specific information around Sub-Saharan African countries in addition to conducting risk assessments and travel risk related research and analysis," Andre explains.

The risks that travelling employees face is growing in frequency and magnitude and includes:

  • Health and safety risks
  • Unpredictable natural disasters such as floods, fires and earthquakes
  • Violent crime due to increasing social and economic divisions within countries
  • Terrorism and political violence

"Organisations have a duty of care to safeguard their travelling employees. This includes monitoring country threat levels, preparing personnel prior to travel, being able to locate travellers and having procedures in place to react to travel related incidents, from the routine to the extraordinary," explains Andre.

"When a travelling employee is in crisis, how quickly and effectively the company reacts is critical – whether it's a kidnapping, a sudden unexpected and serious illness or a natural disaster. It can mean the difference between recovering and not at all for both the employee and company," concludes Andre.

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