The U.S. State Department has warned American citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya.
U.S. citizens in Kenya and those considering travel to that African country should evaluate their personal security situation in the light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crimes in some areas, the State Department said in a Travel Warning update on Thursday.
The levels of risk vary throughout the country and the U.S. Embassy in Nairobi has limited officials to render assistance to U.S. citizens.
The U.S. government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at U.S., Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Although the pursuit of those responsible for previous terrorist activities continues, many of those involved remain at large and still operate in the region. Travelers have been advised to consult the Worldwide Caution for further information and details.
As a result of recent attacks and threats, U.S. government employees, contractors, grantees, and their dependents are prohibited from traveling to the North Eastern Province, including the cities of El Wak, Wajir, Garissa, Dadaab, Mandera, and Liboi. Although the U.S. government travel restriction for Lamu has been lifted, U.S. citizens are asked to consider ongoing security concerns following recent events involving U.S. citizens in the region, including a sexual assault and threatened kidnapping. U.S. government personnel are restricted from traveling to the coastal area north of Pate Island, including Kiwayu and north to Kiunga on the Kenya/Somalia border.
Although these restrictions do not apply to travelers not associated with the U.S. government, U.S. citizens already in Kenya should take these restrictions into account when planning travel. The Embassy regularly reviews the security of these areas for possible modification.
Sporadic violence, protests, and clashes occur in and around Isiolo and Moyale, both in Eastern province. While this violence is not directed at foreigners, protests and tribal clashes are unpredictable, and U.S. citizens are advised to check conditions before traveling to these areas.
Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks, including armed carjackings, grenade attacks, home invasions/ burglaries, and kidnappings can occur at any time and in any location, most particularly in Nairobi. U.S. citizens have fallen victim to such crimes within the past year. U.S. citizens in Kenya are directed to be extremely vigilant with regard to their personal security, particularly in crowded public places such as clubs, hotels, resorts, shopping centers, restaurants, bus stations, and places of worship. U.S. State Department advised its citizens to remain alert in residential areas, at schools, and at outdoor recreational events.
U.S. citizens are advised to avoid demonstrations and political rallies of all kinds. U.S. citizens who travel to or reside in Kenya are urged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive the most up-to-date security information.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com