U.S. Dept. of State Issues Travel Warning for Kenya

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Increasing terrorist threats along the Kenya-Somalia border

Kenyan soldiers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia patrol the southern Somali town of Kismayo.
Kenyan soldiers serving with the African Union Mission in Somalia patrol the southern Somali town of Kismayo.

The U.S. Department of State issued a Travel Warning earlier this month for Kenya, warning travelers to avoid the border area between Somalia and Kenya due to increased terrorist threats, and said travelers should also be aware of the risk of terrorism throughout the country.

“Avoid travel in the northeastern Kenyan counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa, the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu in their entirety, all areas north of Malindi in Kilifi County, and the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh,” the warning reads. “In Mombasa, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and avoid using the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.”

More than 100 people in Kenya were killed in 2016 as a result of shootings and explosives, mostly in the northeast, along the border with Somalia. But targets have also included government buildings and police stations throughout the larger cities, including attacks at the U.S. Embassy. Hotels and bars where foreigners are known to congregate remain a target.

About 75,000 foreign tourists visit Kenya every month, according to data from the country’s National Bureau of Statistics. The country’s principal tourist attractions, however, including Tsavo National Park and Maasi Mara and Amboseli National Reserves, are along Kenya’s southern border with Tanzania, near Mount Kilimanjaro.

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