The U.S. embassy in Nairobi has warned Americans of possible attacks on areas frequented by foreigners and tourists.
In an updated security alert issued on Thursday, February 9, 2023, the U.S. embassy said terrorist groups could attack with little or no warning.
The statement said that places that could potentially be targeted include; hotels, embassies, restaurants, malls and markets, schools, police stations, places of worship, and other places frequented by foreigners and tourists.
“Locations frequented by U.S. citizens and other foreigners and tourists in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya continue to be attractive targets to terrorists planning to conduct potentially imminent attacks. Terrorist groups could attack with little or no warning, targeting hotels, embassies, restaurants, malls and markets, schools, police stations, places of worship, and other places frequented by foreigners and tourists. The government of Kenya has increased counterterrorism patrols,” the statement read in part.
The U.S. embassy further urged American citizens to take action in light of the security alert issued.
“Actions to Take. Exercise vigilance at locations frequented by tourists/foreigners, review your personal security plans, be aware of your surroundings, monitor local media for updates,” the statement added.
The US embassy on August 2, 2022, cautioned its citizens against travelling to Kisumu sparking public uproar.
The travel advisory came just a day after Meg Whitman arrived in the country to take over as the US ambassador to Kenya.
The advisory raised eyebrows across social media platforms in Kenya, with many citizens wondering why vigilance should only be observed in a particular city.
The US embassy was accused of creating unnecessary fear and tension in Kisumu which locals feared could lead to business inactivity till the elections were over.
The embassy was forced to clarify the travel advisory following the public uproar.
In a statement issued by the Embassy Spokesperson on August 3, the US government said it was not privy to any information that Kisumu was likely to experience violence during the general elections.
“Alerts of this nature to American citizens are common ahead of elections throughout the world and the United States has no information to suggest the security situation in Kisumu or any other parts of the country have been affected by election preparations,” read the statement in part.
The statement posted on the embassy’s official website clarified that the alert focused on Kisumu County since it plays host to numerous US embassy staff and that US citizens visit the lakeside city frequently.
The US Department of State, said the statement, had no greater responsibility than the safety and security of US citizens overseas and routinely issues security alerts surrounding elections, health conditions and extreme weather.
However, the US Embassy on September 1, 2022, issued another security alert to its citizens in Kisumu ahead of the Supreme Court ruling on the presidential petition.
There was no violence in Kisumu after the Supreme Court ruling.