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Into Africa

March 22, 1992

I read with great interest your News & Briefs item "Kenya Moves to Upgrade Security for Tourists" (March 8) about recent muggings in Kenya's Masai Mara and subsequent travel advisories. I write this letter out of concern that you might be doing a disservice to Africa as a whole by publishing such one-sided news. I personally know of four travelers who on account of this and other similar reports have canceled trips including destinations such as Tanzania, Malawi and Zambia. Again, these decisions were made based on information from your paper. To not travel to Malawi because of incidents in Kenya is as absurd as not going to Los Angeles because of crime in New York City.

In the interest of fairness to your readers and other countries in Africa, I think it's only right that you create a fairer perspective of the scale of the continent and the diversity of places to go and the people you will find there. Otherwise, in our increasingly global village, you are re-creating a horrible stereotypical image of Africa as the Dark Continent complete with savages preying on helpless white tourists. Africa is not like this and Kenya is the only place where tourists are imperiled.

BARAKA JEFFRIES

Venice

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