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US firm hiring locals for Iraq Print
Story by DOMINIC WABALA - 11/18/2007

For the second time in as many months, a multinational engineering and construction firm is recruiting Kenyans for jobs in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

US-based firm KBR, formerly Kellogg Brown and Root, has placed advertisements in a local newspaper seeking people  to work in “contingency operations” for US and coalition forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait.

The company wants recruits with expertise in transport. supply chain management, food service, information management and network/telecommunications, logistics, sports and recreation, maintenance, business/support projects among other fields.

Although the company admits there are significant challenges, it promises great pay, excellent benefits including paid vacations and more.

KBR warns the prospective employees that the assignments will be dangerous.

‘‘It should be understood that employment may be located in a hostile environment and possibly in a combat zone. This could include the possibility of suffering harm at the hands of hostile forces or by friendly fire.

It should be further understood that these dangers are inherent to work in a hostile environment,’’ the advertisement says.

However, unlike for other international jobs where Kenyans apply through government ministries, KBR is recruiting directly with the government’s supervision.

Wikipedia, the online encyclopedia, says 98 American KBR contractors had lost their lives in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait as of February this year.

KBR, which is the leading contractor for the US army and the largest defence contractor in the world, provides logistical support to American and coalition forces in Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait and other parts of the world.

The firm promises ‘‘excellent benefits and paid vacations’’ to  those who sign up. It, however, issues disclaimer on the dangerous nature of the work and the dangers one is likely to be exposed to while working in combat zones.

“Make a difference in the world, your career and your life. Be part of an elite team filled with pride, camaraderie and can-do attitude. Step forward and apply today at http://apply.kbrjobs.com/KEA.”

On the website, the applicant is required give a detailed curriculum vitae, referees, and military clearance among other requirements.

KBR is the 10th largest contractor for the US Department of Defence.

Two Kenyans who had been recruited to work as telecommunications engineers in Kuwait and later Iraq for an Orascom telecommunications affiliated company were abducted early this year and have never been heard from since.

Earlier four Kenyan truck drivers were abducted by Iraqi insurgents but were released after months of negotiations.

In a September advertisement, KBR sought to recruit Kenyans with military experience.

Another US-registered company, Sentry Security of East Africa, began a recruitment drive among former Kenya military personnel.

But unlike KBR which is solely recruiting online, Sentry Security of East Africa which is also recruiting for workers in Iraq and Afghanistan, has a branch in Kenya.

Some of those going to the Middle East are former servicemen who have also served also in United Nations peacekeeping missions in Sierra Leone and Croatia.
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