US extends travel warning on Eastleigh as Obama leaves office
The United States government has released a fresh travel warning to its citizens visiting Kenya, with Nairobi’s Eastleigh area still being regarded as a high risk area.
The warning by the Department of State was released on January 13 and cautions US citizens to “avoid travel to the border area between Somalia and Kenya because of threats posed by the terrorist group al-Shabaab.”
The warning replaces the previous one dated June 30, 2016. It advices American citizens to be aware of potential terrorist threats and the high risk of crime throughout the country.
The warning is the last one issued by the outgoing administration of President Barack Obama and no major anti-terrorism policy alterations are expected to effected by the incoming Donald Trump administration.
In the latest travel warning, US citizens are advised to avoid traveling in the northeastern Kenyan counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa, the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu in their entirety and all areas north of Malindi in Kilifi County.
In Mombasa, the US Embassy recommends US citizens to visit Old Town only during daylight hours and avoid using the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.
In 2016, terrorist attacks involving shootings, grenades, or other explosive devices resulted in 122 fatalities.
The bulk of the incidents occurred in Wajir, Garissa, Lamu and Mandera counties.
“Potential terrorist threats remain in Kenya, including within the Nairobi area, along the coast, and within the northeastern region of the country,” teh warning stated.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has also issued a Notice to Airmen for Kenyan airspace.
Any travel to the restricted areas by any US Embassy personnel has to be pre-approved by appropriate embassy offices.