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|Saturday, January 13, 2001, updated at 20:45(GMT+8)|
UN Describes Nairobi as Dangerous CitySoaring crime rates in the Kenyan capital Nairobi has put the city on the UN list of the worst hardship and security classification, the United Nations has said.
The UN International Civil Service Commission (ICSC), which regulated the conditions of service for the international body's employees, has downgraded Nairobi from a B-station to a C-station, the Daily Nation newspaper reported Saturday.
The ICSC's new rating means that Nairobi, headquarters to the UN Environment Program and the UN Center for Human Settlements, is seen by the UN as more of a hardship post than Bogota, amidst Colombia's civil war and a city plagued by drug-related violence and kidnappings, or Jerusalem, which has seen Israeli-Palestinian violence, the paper said.
The UN's information chief in Nairobi, Tore Brevik, said that move was taken to reflect a deterioration of security in the capital as well as the number of crimes against UN employees.
"For example, to travel after dark is something which is in many ways a dangerous thing," he said. "There is something (a crime against UN staff) roughly every week, from minor things to break-ins, hijackings and so on."
Robberies of vehicles at gunpoint have become commonplace in Nairobi, once regarded as among Africa's safest city.
Brevik said that the new rating was transitional and could be re-examined in the next 12 months.
The ICSC gives hardships ratings of A to E for cities where UN employees work. Rio De Janeiro, Nicosia and Hong Kong are among those with A ratings while Kabul and the Liberian capital Monrovia are among those with E classifications.
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