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China warns residents against travelling to Mandera, Wajir, Lamu

The Chinese embassy in Kenya has issued an advisory to its nationals in the country, warning them to avoid travelling to certain areas.

In a statement on October 25, 2023, the embassy called on Chinese citizens to be extra careful when traversing to different areas in Kenya noting that the country’s security is uncertain.

“Try to avoid going to areas where foreign tourists gather and crowded places. Be cautious when traveling to Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Lamu counties, and other Kenyan border areas,” the notice read in part.

The notice may have been routine, citing areas that other embassies such as the US and the UK High Commission have also cited as dangerous due to extremist violence from al-Shabaab.

Chinese officials argue they routinely advise or remind nationals of their security obligations wherever they are.

The alert comes two weeks after the United States (US) Embassy in Nairobi issued a similar security alert, warning its citizens of potential terror attacks.

China’s citation of “global hot issues” may refer to Kenya’s stance on the Israeli-Hamas conflict. Kenya initially stood in “solidarity with Israel” after the Hamas militant group attacked civilians in Israel on October 7.

But Nairobi has also called for de-escalation and peaceful resolution of the conflict for the sake of civilians.

The U.S Embassy warned that terrorists may target locations that are highly frequented by foreigners and tourists in Nairobi and other parts of the country.

“Locations frequented by US citizens and other foreigners and tourists in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya continue to be attractive targets to terrorists planning to conduct potentially imminent attacks,” the circular dated October 13, 2023, read.

The security advisory comes at a time when there has been an increase in terror attacks in Lamu and Northern Kenya counties, some targeting security officers, including the Kenya Defence Forces.

In September, unspecified number of KDF officers were killed and others injured after a suspected Al Shabaab attack in Lamu.

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