10 September 2017

Somalia: U.S. Warns Citizens to Avoid Travel to Somali-Kenyan Border

Photo: Manase Otsialo/Daily Nation
Kenyan soldiers on guard as the erection of a security fence along the Kenya-Somalia border goes on.

The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens to avoid travel to the border area between Somalia and Kenya because of threats by the terrorist group al-Shabaab.

U.S. citizens should also be aware of potential terrorist threats and the high risk of crime 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.

In Mombasa, the U.S. Embassy recommends U.S. citizens visit Old Town only during daylight hours, and carefully consider whether to use the Likoni ferry due to safety concerns.

Over the past year, terrorist attacks involving improvised explosive devices and shootings occurred in Kenya's border areas with Somalia and along northern portions of the Kenyan coast.

Though the threat from terrorism continues to be most pronounced in these areas, a broader terrorism risk throughout the rest of Kenya remains, including within the Nairobi area.

Terrorist targets have included Kenyan and foreign government sites, police stations, police and military vehicles, hotels, public transportation and other infrastructure targets, nightclubs and bars, religious and academic institutions, and shopping areas.

Violent and sometimes fatal crimes, including armed carjackings, muggings, home invasions and burglaries, and kidnappings can occur at any time. U.S. citizens and U.S. Embassy employees have been victims of such crimes.

There has been an increase in armed incursions by herders on private farms and wildlife conservancies in Laikipia, Baringo, and Samburu counties in central Kenya. If you intend to visit the area, monitor local media and request the latest information and the level of security provided at your specific destination.

On February 26, 2017, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) extended its Notice to Airmen for Kenyan Airspace for one year. For further background information regarding FAA flight prohibitions and advisories for U.S. civil aviation, U.S. citizens should consult the Federal Aviation Administration's Prohibitions, Restrictions and Notices.

To be safe, you should review your personal security plans; remain aware of your surroundings and local events; and monitor local news stations for updates. Maintain a high level of vigilance, take appropriate steps to enhance your personal security, and follow instructions of local authorities.

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