The United States government, through the Department of State, on Tuesday, May 24, issued a Level 2 travel advisory for its citizens to exercise increased caution over increased crime in Kenya.
In a statement seen by Kenyans.co.ke, the US warned its people of violent crime, terrorism and kidnapping and the coronavirus pandemic, terming a visit to the country as high-risk.
Nairobi was put on the spot with neighbourhoods like Eastleigh and Kibra deemed hot spots, especially after nightfall. Among the felonies listed in the advisory include carjacking, mugging, home invasion and abductions.
An undated image of the entrance to the US Embassy in Gigiri, Nairobi.
“Nairobi neighbourhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera at all times due to crime and kidnapping. Be especially careful when travelling after dark anywhere in Kenya due to crime,” read the statement in part.
Areas earmarked as possible targets include tourist locations, Kenyan and foreign government facilities, accommodation facilities, shopping malls, transport hubs and places of worship.
Americans were warned not to travel to Turkana County because of crime and avoid the Kenya-Somalia border areas including Mandera, Wajir and Garissa counties, and some areas along the coast due to terrorism.
The Department of State noted that while Kenya had deployed police officers across the country, they may be incapacitated to handle major security threats and that emergency services were hard to come by.
“Violent crime can occur at any time. Local police are willing but often lack the capability to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents and terrorist attacks while emergency medical and fire service is also limited,” the advisory read in part.
The world superpower further advised its citizens on how to avert and handle themselves in the event they fall victim to criminal attacks
“Do not physically resist any robbery attempt. Always carry a copy of your U.S. passport and visa and make contingency plans to leave the country in case of an emergency,” the statement read.
Citizens were also asked to refer to the Covid-19 updates on Kenya on the embassy websites to confirm the entry and exit requirements, quarantine information, testing and vaccination, and consular operations.
“Your risk of contracting Covid-19 and developing severe symptoms may be lower if you are fully vaccinated with an FDA authorised vaccine,” read a statement by the US Embassy in Nairobi.
President Uhuru Kenyatta receiving the AstraZeneca Covid-19 vaccine on March 26, 2021 at State House, Nairobi.
criminal abduction terrorism terrorist fire