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You will be kidnapped if you travel to Eastleigh and Kibera, US tells its citizen

You will be kidnapped if you travel to Eastleigh and Kibera, US tells its citizen

The United States has warned its citizens not to travel to eight counties in Kenya including parts of Nairobi in its latest travel advisory.

In a notice dated October 4, the US urged its citizens to exercise increased caution in Kenya due to crime, terrorism, and kidnapping.

American citizens were warned against crime-prone areas such as counties around the Kenya-Somalia border and the Coast, Turkana and Nairobi, especially Kibera and Eastleigh.

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gun man
Mystery gun man

According to the Embassy, the aforementioned areas endanger the lives of foreigners due to high cases of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

The State Department in the advisory classified some parts as a Level 2 where there is a need to exercise increased caution, with the citizens being warned of crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping.

“Some areas have increased risk and were classified as Level 4,” the statement read.

US citizens were warned against visiting the counties bordering Somalia, as they were categorized as Level 4: Do not travel.

“Due to terrorism concerns, US government personnel are prohibited from travelling to the below Kenya-Somalia border counties and Coastal areas,” the statement read.

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The pistol and mobile phone recovered from the scene. PHOTO | DCI
The pistol and mobile phone recovered from the scene. PHOTO | DCI

They include Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties, all due to kidnapping and terrorism.

The Coastal region areas listed are Tana River, Lamu and areas of Kilifi County north of Malindi, also due to kidnapping and terrorism.

“Consider carefully whether to use the Likoni ferry in Mombasa due to safety concerns,” the advisory added.

Turkana County was also issued a Level 4 caution.

According to the advisory, the road from Kainuk-Lodwar in Tukana County was also placed in the same category for its frequent cases of crime and armed robbery.

Another region mentioned in the same category was the Likoni ferry in Mombasa County.

Nairobi estates including Eastleigh and Kibera were issued as Level 3: Reconsider travelling as the areas are frequent with violent crimes such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion and kidnapping.

“Be especially careful when travelling after dark anywhere in Kenya due to crime,” it added.

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According to the advisory Kenyan security forces lack the capacity to contain some of the insecurity concerns and thus the need to sensitize its citizens.

“Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time.

Street crime can involve multiple armed assailants. Local police often lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents,” it stated.

The latest advisory comes almost two months after another advisory about Kisumu raised eyebrows across social media platforms, with many citizens wondering why vigilance should only be observed in a particular city.

A few weeks later, the US ambassador to Kenya, Margaret ‘Meg’ Whitman, visited Kisumu, a county the embassy had warned Americans against visiting days before the August 9, 2022, General Election.

The US Embassy issued an alert to American citizens in Kenya exactly advising them to stay away from Kisumu. That provoked protests from Kisumu Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o and other residents.

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In a statement at the time, the embassy said election-related demonstrations and rallies regularly take place in the run-up to elections and were likely to continue, blocking key intersections and causing traffic jams in Kisumu.

Ms Whitman paid a courtesy call on Kisumu County Commissioner Josephine Ouko and later met with Governor Nyong’o, whom she congratulated on his re-election.

When the envoy landed in the city, she tweeted that she was happy to fly to Kisumu.

“My first county visit in Kenya! Looking forward to a great day meeting local leaders, and U.S. Embassy staff leading critical U.S programs and investments,” she wrote.

She also praised Kisumu as one of the best hosts for US citizens and businesses.

“Kisumu is a beautiful city and host to numerous U.S. investments, American businesses, U.S. citizens and embassy programs,” she said.

Fielding questions from the media, Ms Whitman said the embassy’s first job is the safety and security of US citizens and embassy staff, saying she is required by law to alert them about security issues.

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