Two French naval warships docked at Kenya's coastal city of Mombasa on Tuesday for a series of joint naval exercises with Kenya navy off the Indian Ocean.I don't think the US DOS warning and the arrival of the French are related, but these days, who knows?
A statement from the French Embassy in Nairobi said the Flag Ship Marne and the surveillance Frigate, FLOREAL, with a combined force of 300 sailors, is part of the French Naval Forces in the Indian Ocean Maritime Area (ALINDIEN) and are under the command of Rea-Amiral de Gaullier des Bordes.
"A series of joint operational exercises at sea involving the French sailors and their Kenyan Navy counterparts is also scheduled to take place," the statement said.
The statement said the French Naval Fleet operating in the Indian Ocean has different missions among them to protect the French interests in exclusive economic areas.
"Other missions are to guarantee the international laws of maritime traffic, and patrol along the main sea lanes of communications," it said.
The arrival of the French warship comes barely a week after the US renewed its regional terrorism warning for east Africa.
The potential threat from Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda terror network outlined in the State Department's September 23 terror alert reportedly caused the cancellation of a college student cruise ship's scheduled four-day stop in the Kenyan port of Mombasa.
The US MV Explorer, with more than 600 US and foreign university students enrolled in the semester at Sea global studies program on board, had reportedly been due to stop at Mombasa on Friday but abruptly canceled the visit last week.
Tuesday, October 04, 2005