Security Heightened in Nairobi As Obama Arrives

Police surveillance was heightened in Nairobi yesterday hours before the arrival of US President Barack Obama last evening.

Dozens of officers from the GSU, prisons, regular and Administration Police patrolled Nairobi streets.

Plainclothes officers were deployed to key areas such as State House, Bomb Blast Park, Kasarani and Kenyatta University where Obama is expected to visit.

At the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, police with sniffer dogs inspected all vehicles entering and leaving.

More NIS officers were deployed at the airport.

There was heavy police presence within the central business district. Officers randomly stopped pedestrians and demanded identification documents.

Some officers demanded that they check luggage.

The National Youth Service officers were also deployed to the CBD.

A spot check by the Star showed there were few people in the city centre.

There was also a considerable drop in the number of vehicles on the roads.

Thika Road, for instance, which on a normal day is packed with heavy traffic, was smooth all the way to the CBD.

Secret Service officers from the US and Kenya’s Recce members, who will be guarding Obama, held regular briefings with their seniors.

Obama’s security team includes 2,000 officers from the Secret Service and the Recce Squad.

Another 10,000 officers have been deployed to the city streets and the places Obama will visit.