UK warns citizens against travelling to parts of Kenya over Al-Shabaab attacks


NAIROBI, Kenya - The United Kingdom [UK] has issued a travel advisory to her citizens against traveling to northeastern Kenya due to persistent Al-Shabaab attacks mainly targeting non-locals especially those from down Kenya and foreign nations.

The UK earmarked the counties of Lamu, Wajir, Mandera, and Garissa as dangerous zones adding that those willing to travel to those zones should do it at their own risk due to Al-Shabaab's presence.

The advisory which was seen by Garowe Online was issued on Friday, the UK said the decision was made in light of the security situation on the ground. Al-Shabaab has persistently attacked non-locals in those arid counties.

The UK had previously advised against all but essential travel to areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somalia border. But now they are also advising against all but essential travel to Mandera County excluding Mandera West sub-county.

They have also issued an advisory against all but essential travel to Eastern Garissa County [up to 20km north-west], Lamu County [excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island], and areas of Tana River County north.

This comes hours after President Uhuru Kenyatta directed internal security institutions to heighten vigilance and surveillance across the country following the unfolding security situation in the region. Uhuru's directly came amid uncertainty in Ethiopia and Somalia.

The Head of State gave the instructions during Friday's National Security Council meeting. Uhuru gave the directive even as police officers put Sh50m bounty on five terror suspects.

The police put the bounty on missing terror convict Elgiva Bwire, Salim Rashid Mohammed, Mohammad Abubakar, Barigi Abdikadir Haila, and Trevor Ndwiga. Kenya has been battling with Al-Shabaab militants in the said counties for a while.

Last year, Kenya Defense Forces [KDF] unveiled Modika Barracks in Garissa which will be used as the main Forward Operating Base within the region. The KDF also has a team in Sectors II and VI of AMISOM who are directly involved in the Al-Shabaab war.


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