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Cablegate: Travel Warning - Kenya

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O 141548Z NOV 08
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INFO RUESBKC/ATO ASIA IMMEDIATE 1750

UNCLAS STATE 121032

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: CASC ASEC KPAO PTER PREL KE
SUBJECT: TRAVEL WARNING - KENYA

1. The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens of
the risks of travel to Kenya. American citizens in
Kenya and those considering travel to Kenya should
evaluate their personal security situation in light of
continuing threats from terrorism and the high rate of
violent crime. This replaces the Travel Warning of
August 22, 2008, to note increased security concerns in
northeast Kenya near the Somali border.
2. The U.S. Government continues to receive indications
of potential terrorist threats aimed at American,
Western, and Kenyan interests in Kenya. Terrorist acts
could include suicide operations, bombings, kidnappings,
attacks on civil aviation, and attacks on maritime
vessels in or near Kenyan ports. Many of those
responsible for the attacks on the U.S. Embassy in 1998
and on a hotel in Mombasa in 2002 remain at large and
continue to operate in the region. In November 2008,
armed groups based in Somalia crossed into Kenya near
the town of El Wak and kidnapped two Westerners. Travel
by U.S. Embassy personnel to border areas of Kenya
northeast of the town of Wajir has been restricted until
further notice.
3. Violent and sometimes fatal criminal attacks,
including armed carjackings and home
invasions/burglaries, can occur at any time and in any
location, particularly in Nairobi. As recently as June
2008, U.S. Embassy personnel were victims of
carjackings. In the short-term, the continued
displacement of thousands of people by the recent civil
unrest combined with endemic poverty and the
availability of weapons could result in an increase in
crime, both petty and violent. Kenyan authorities have
limited capacity to deter or investigate such acts or
prosecute perpetrators.
4. American citizens in Kenya should be extremely
vigilant, particularly in public places frequented by
foreigners such as clubs, hotels, resorts, upscale
shopping centers, restaurants, and places of worship.
Americans should also remain alert in residential areas,
schools, and at outdoor recreational events, and should
avoid demonstrations and large crowds.
5. Americans who travel to or reside in Kenya are
encouraged to register through the State Department's
travel registration website,
https://travelregistration.state.gov. By registering,
American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to
contact them in case of emergency. Americans without
Internet access may register directly with the U.S.
Embassy in Nairobi. The U.S. Embassy is located on
United Nations Avenue, Gigiri, Nairobi, Kenya; telephone
(254) (20) 363-6000; fax (254) (20) 363-6410. In the
event of an after-hours emergency, the Embassy duty
officer may be contacted at (254) (20) 363-6170. The
Embassy home page is http://kenya.usembassy.gov
6. Updated information on travel and security in Kenya
may be obtained from the Department of State by calling
1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and
Canada, or for callers outside the United States and
Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. For
further information, please consult the Country Specific
Information for Kenya and the Worldwide Caution Travel
Alert, which are available on the Bureau of Consular
Affairs Internet website at http://travel.state.gov
7. Minimize considered.
RICE

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