Nairobi residents are on a lockdown as President Obama arrives Friday for a three-day visit. While his arrival is heavily anticipated because of his Kenyan roots, many in this capital city are already chafing under the tight security measures meant to reduce crime and minimize terrorist threats.
In this normally bustling, chaotic metropolis, the streets are unusually quiet. No groups of young men hang on corners, pedestrians are absent, beggars moved elsewhere.
Vendors can’t sell trinkets, families can’t buy vegetables and residents can’t withdraw cash from banks.
“Our leaders need to be conscious and let us live a normal life. We don’t need to change anything because a visitor has come,” said Lewis Asambe, 42.
The government has told non-essential businesses in Nairobi to close and residents to stay home until Obama leaves on Sunday for Ethiopia.
Tight security is always present during U.S. presidential visits. But Kenya is taking additional steps to guard against attempts by al-Shabab terrorists to disrupt the trip.
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