Tension and Anger in Kenya as US Issues Security Alert

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Kenyans have expressed anger towards the US embassy in Nairobi for issuing a security alert to its citizen. The alert is meant to caution the US citizens and other westerners about a possible terror attack in Nairobi, Naivasha, Nanyuki and the coastal region.

Part of the statement reads, “Event: Credible information indicates Westerners may be targeted by extremists in Nairobi, Naivasha, Nanyuki, and coastal areas of Kenya. The U.S. Embassy reminds the public of the continued need for heightened vigilance throughout Kenya, especially in public spaces such as shopping malls, hotels, and places of worship.”

The Westerners have also been advised to be cautious of the environment, alert and report any suspicious actions as well as have the travel documents up to date and accessible.

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Actions to Take: Be aware of your surroundings, and report suspicious activity to authorities immediately
Carefully consider visiting locations frequented by tourists/Westerners, Monitor local media, Have travel documents up to date and easily accessible, Review your personal security plans”. The statement further reads, “We strongly recommend that U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Nairobi enroll in the Department of State’s Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). STEP enrollment gives you the latest security updates, and makes it easier for the U.S. embassy or nearest U.S. consulate to contact you in an emergency. If you don’t have Internet access, enroll directly with the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. See the State Department’s travel website for the Worldwide Caution, Travel Warnings, Travel Alerts, and Kenya Specific Information. Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) to receive security messages and make it easier to locate you in an emergency”.

The move has since been criticized by Kenyans with many terming it as unnecessary given that it’s only a few weeks after the country experienced a terror attack that claimed at least 20 lives.

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