US issues travel alert ahead of Barack Obama’s Kenya visit
The US State Department has issued a travel alert ahead of President Barack Obama’s visit to Kenya later this month.
The alert issued on Monday warned American citizens that they could be turned into targets due to huge public events like the sixth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) in Nairobi.
“As with all large public events, there is the opportunity for criminal elements to target participants and other visitors,” the travel alert read. “Large-scale public events such as this summit can also be a target for terrorists.
The alert encouraged travellers to be on the lookout for possible terrorists and criminals. They were also encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveller Enrollment Program (SMART) to enable them receive pertinent safety and security information.
EXPIRE ON JULY 30
The alert is set to expire on July 30, after the summit ends.
The US has, however, acknowledged Kenya’s counter-terrorism efforts following a series of attacks by the militant group Al-Shabaab.
Last week, White House Press Secretary John Earnest said there is need for Kenyan security forces to be mindful of basic human rights of the population even as they engage in counter-terrorism efforts.
“We continue to be mindful of the need for security forces in Kenya to ensure that even as they engage in counter-terrorism efforts, they respect the basic human rights of the population,” he said.
“And this is an admonition that we have levelled on more than one occasion against the Kenyan government.” The State Department in May issued a similar travel advisory, primarily based on a threat by Al-Shabaab.
The US leader is to visit Kenya for the first time as President and will attend the GES which is scheduled to run from July 24 to 26. The summit will be co-hosted by the US and Kenya.