UK warns of more attacks in updated Kenya advisory
The British Government has revised its travel advisory on Kenya, warning of more imminent attacks on areas it had cautioned its nationals to avoid.
In its latest update, the UK government says “further attacks are likely” in some parts of Nairobi, the Coast and areas within 60 kilometres of the Somali-Kenyan border.
“Attacks could be indiscriminate in places frequented by foreigners including hotels, bars, restaurants, sports bars and nightclubs, sporting events, supermarkets, shopping centres, beaches, buses, trains and transport hubs.
“Attacks have also previously targeted places of worship including churches and mosques. Be particularly vigilant in these areas,” the advisory posted on the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) website stated.
The travel warning is a repeat of what was announced on May 14 but emphasises on a near likelihood of terrorist attack.
These areas also include Kiwayu, areas near Pate Island, Garissa County, Eastleigh in Nairobi and “low income areas of Nairobi including township or slum areas.”
Last month, the UK warned of imminent attacks leading to mass cancellation of bookings by tourists at the Coast.
The advice came as the US, Australia, France and Canada also warned their people to avoid certain areas.
Although these countries say they will not evacuate their nationals, players in the tourism industry players say it influenced the cancellations.
British nationals are generally free to travel to any other part of Kenya but the advisory added that they “should see our travel advice before travelling.”
The UK government also insists its citizens should avoid Mombasa island and within 5 kilometres of the coast from Mtwapa creek to Tiwi in the South although this does not include Diani and Moi International Airport.
This update follows another issued on Friday by the Australian and US governments for their nationals to reconsider the need to travel to Ethiopia due to what the US said there was credible information of al-Shabaab’s intent to attack the country.
Australia picked up the cue and warned its nationals from travelling near the Kenya-Ethiopia border.
Kenya has seen several attacks thought to be engineered by Somali militant group al-Shabaab.
On May 16, twin explosions in Nairobi’s Gikomba market killed 12 and injured at least 80 people. A number of other explosions have gone off.
The warnings come even as the government runs a media campaign to promise Kenyans of better security management in the country.
The campaign which has been running since Saturday last week pledges new security cameras and other methods.
When the warnings were first issued last month, President Uhuru Kenyatta criticised them and responded with a raft of measures which he argued were aimed at reviving tourism.
“I continue to call on all friends of Kenya to work together with us to combat this evil and it is indeed my strong belief, to say the very least, that acts by whoever, I don’t want to refer to anybody in particular, acts like were done yesterday by the people you just mentioned only strengthens the will of terrorists as opposed to helping us defeat that war,” he said then.