US warns of impending attacks in Kenya - CNBC Africa

US warns of impending attacks in Kenya

East Africa

by Elayne Wangalwa 0

In light of the recent attacks that left at least 60 dead in Kenya, the United States has updated its travel advisory. PHOTO: Getty Images

“The US Department of State warns US citizens of the risks of travel to Kenya.  US citizens in Kenya, and those considering traveling to Kenya, should evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas,” the US State Department said in a statement on Thursday.

On Sunday and Monday night, gunmen raided the town of Mpeketoni in Lamu County killing people and destroying property.

The department of state also said it is relocating some embassy staff to other countries. However, the embassy will remain open for standard operations.

“The embassy has also instituted a policy of restricting US government-sponsored regional conferences and trainings in Nairobi and reviewing the number of TDY personnel coming to the country for official purposes,” the department added.

Kenya has experienced a spate of grenades, bombs and armed attacks since 2012. The main threat is from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group in Somalia angered by Kenya’s military intervention in the war torn country.

(READ MORE: Several injured in Nairobi market explosion)

“The US government continues to receive information about potential terrorist threats aimed at US, Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya, including the Nairobi area and the coastal cities of Mombasa and Diani.”

According to the US, terrorist acts can include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings, attacks on civil aviation and attacks near Kenyan ports.

The US government has advised its citizens who travel or reside in the East African nation to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) in order to receive “up-to-date” security information. 

Four governments including the United States, the United Kingdom, France and Australia have issued travel advisories to Kenya since the wake of terror threats in the country.

On Friday, the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government of Kenya issued a statement urging its citizens to be cautious while watching World Cup matches, especially in crowded and open places.

“Kenyans are strongly advised to watch World Cup matches from the comfort of their homes instead of crowded and unprotected open places,” said the ministry.