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Hata Kibera! US warns citizens on visiting selected areas in Kenya

The United States of America (USA) has warned its citizens residing in Kenya not to travel to specific areas in the country.

In a statement, the US asked its citizens to exercise caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping in the said areas.

They were warned not to travel to the Kenya- Somalia border counties and some parts of the coastal region due to terrorism and kidnapping. US also warned its citizens not to travel to areas of Turkana due to crime.

“Reconsider travel to Nairobi neighborhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera, due to crime and kidnapping. Certain areas of Laikipia County, due to criminal incursions and security operations, reconsider travel through Nyahururu, Laikipia West, and Laikipia North Sub-counties,” the statement read in part.

In a summary of what is happening in the country, the US said violent crime such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time.

The statement revealed that local police officers usually lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks.

“Emergency medical and fire service is also limited. Be especially careful when traveling after dark anywhere in Kenya due to crime,” it further read.

According to the US, terrorist attacks have occurred with little or no warning and in most cases the targets are Kenyans and foreign government facilities, tourist locations, transportation hubs, hotels, resorts, markets/shopping malls, and places of worship.

It said that terrorist acts have included armed assaults, suicide operations, bomb/grenade attacks, and kidnappings.

“Demonstrations may occur, blocking key intersections and resulting in widespread traffic jams.  Strikes and other protest activity related to political and economic conditions occur regularly, particularly in periods near elections.  Violence associated with demonstrations, ranging from rock throwing to police using deadly force, occurs around the country; it is mostly notable in western Kenya and Nairobi,” the statement further read.

It asked its citizens who will be travelling to Kenya to always stay alert in locations frequented by Westerners, do not physically resist any robbery attempt, monitor local media for breaking events and be prepared to adjust your plans.

Other cautious measures include; make contingency plans to leave the country, always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa (if applicable).  Keep original documents in a secure location, enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency, follow the Department of State on Facebook and Twitter.

Areas that the American citizens were asked not to travel to include; Mandera due to kidnapping and terrorism, Wajir due to kidnapping and terrorism, Garissa due to kidnapping and terrorism.

In the Coastal region they should not travel to; Tana River county due to kidnapping and terrorism, Lamu county due to kidnapping and terrorism, Areas of Kilifi County north of Malindi due to kidnapping and terrorism.

The US also asked them not to travel to Turkana County especially the road from Kainuk to Lodwar due to crime and armed robbery, which occur frequently.

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