US issues fresh travel alert for Kenya as elections near
The US State Department on Thursday issued a new travel alert for Kenya ahead of the August 8th general elections.
The travel alert, which expires on August 31, 2017, notes that political nominations begin in April with campaigns expected to last until the general election in August.
US citizens travelling to the country have been warned that rallies, demonstrations and protests may occur with little notice and even those intended to be peaceful can escalate into violence.
The alert, posted on the US State Department website, warns those who choose to travel to Kenya around that period of time to avoid large gatherings, protest and demonstrations and exercise caution if unexpectedly in the vicinity of any such events.
The alert added that “criminal elements or terrorists” could target demonstrators and visitors.
“There is a recent history of political unrest in Kenya. In 2007, more than 1,200 people were killed after political protests over a disputed poll intensified into ethnic fighting. Elections in 2013 were peaceful,” the alert states.
EASTLEIGH A HIGH RISK AREA
In January, United States government released a travel alert to its citizens visiting Kenya, which warned that Nairobi’s Eastleigh area still remains a high risk area.
The warning cautioned US citizens to “avoid travel to the border area between Somalia and Kenya because of threats posed by the terrorist group al-Shabaab.”