Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Lamu's safe

For now. The oil exploration that's been going on near the archipelago for decades seems to have reached another
inconclusive end
. But the drillers will probably be back as long as Kenya's fuel needs aren't being met by expensive imported crude or alternative technologies.

Meanwhile, Lamu faces a more imminent danger from being caught in the crossfire of the self-perpetuating war on terror. As British, US and Kenyan authorities cooperate to detain alleged supporters of Somali jihadists, who were caught fleeing from Somalia at Kiunga, just up the coast, the island is now clearly on radar screens that it would prefer not to be. Fortunately, Lamu's expression of Islam has always been one that welcomed foreigners, and with hundreds of tourists, including US Peace Corps volunteers, present at all times in the delightful warren of alleys that makes up Lamu town, there won't be any muttonheaded US aerial bombardments here – unlike on the Somali border where livestock and innocent people were killed as the Americans tried to nail the alleged perpetrators of the 1998 embassy bombings.