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Beware of Kenyan cities – DFAT increases travel warning

April 3, 2014 Destination Global, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) yesterday increased its travel warning for Australians considering visiting Kenyan cities.

While the overall level of advice for Kenya remains “exercise a high degree of caution”, the level of advice for Nairobi and Mombasa has been increased.

DFAT now advises Australians to “reconsider their need to travel” to Nairobi and Mombasa due to a high threat of terrorist attack and high level of crime. “Reconsider your need to travel” is just one step down from “do not travel”, the highest level of DFAT advisory.

“We also continue to strongly advise Australians not to travel to border regions with Somalia, Ethiopia and South Sudan, because of the extremely dangerous security situation,” an advisory stated yesterday.  Dusit-Hot-Deals-Banner-250x250-06

“Outside of these areas the overall level of advice remains at ‘exercise a high degree of caution’.”

The challenge Kenya-bound tourists face is visiting Kenya without passing through the capital Nairobi – not easy for the average tourist as Nairobi is where the main international airport is.

DFAT says information newly received in the past couple of days suggests that attacks in Nairobi and Mombasa could occur in the near future; further civil unrest and violence in Mombasa is likely following the killing of a Muslim cleric on 1 April 2014.

The DFAT bulletin lists the following recent terrorist attacks in Kenya:

  • On 23 March 2014, five people were killed in an armed attack on a church in Likoni, Mombasa.
  • On 16 January 2014, an IED explosion occurred in a restaurant at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi. There were no injuries.
  • On 2 January 2014, a grenade attack at a popular tourist restaurant/bar at Diani Beach (30 kilometres south of Mombasa) injured ten people.
  • On 14 December 2013, an explosion on a public bus in the Pangani area of Nairobi killed six people and injured a further 24.
  • On 12 December 2013, a grenade was thrown at a vehicle carrying two British tourists in Likoni, Mombasa. The grenade failed to explode.
  • On 21-24 September 2013, a major terrorist attack on the Westgate Shopping Mall in Nairobi resulted in a large number of deaths and injuries. An Australian citizen was killed in the attack.
  • On 23 June 2013, a grenade attack on an internally displaced camp in Banisa, Mandera killed 15 people and injured a number of others.
  • On 9 June 2013, a grenade attack on church compounds in Mombasa and Eastleigh injured several people.
  • On 4 April 2013, an attack on a market in Garissa killed one and injured several others.
  • On 4 March 2013, attacks by armed youths on police stations and clashes with police in the Mombasa area killed at least 15 people, including a number of police officers. 

“The terrorist assault on the Westgate Shopping Mall in the Westlands district of Nairobi in September 2013 resulted in a large number of deaths, including one Australian, and injuries,” DFAT continues.

“There have been a number of other violent armed terrorist attacks over recent years in Nairobi, Mombasa, Garissa and Wajir. These attacks have targeted a broad range of public places. The Westgate attack underscores the continued risk of large scale acts of terrorism in Kenya.”

Further tips from DFAT for those who would visit Kenya:

  • Kenyan authorities announced enhanced security measures across Kenya on 31 January 2014. These include enhanced security checks at all Kenyan airports. Local authorities have advised travellers to arrive one hour ahead of the normal time (i.e. at least three hours before scheduled flight times) to complete security formalities.
  • There is an ongoing very high threat of kidnap to Westerners, including residents, tourists, journalists and humanitarian workers.
  • Violent crime against Westerners, including armed carjacking and home invasions, occurs frequently in and around Nairobi. There have been a number of recent home invasions in Nairobi targeting the foreign community that have resulted in the deaths of householders, including an Australian citizen in November 2013. 

Written by : Peter Needham

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