Friday, November 1, 2013

Kenya: Australian Government (DFAT) Warns Its Citizens of Travel to Nairobi, Mombasa

According to Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) militants may be planning attacks on nightclubs and other sites popular with foreign tourists in the city of Mombasa, specifically information of late-October 2013 indicates extremists may be planning attacks on nightclubs and other places frequented by foreigners along Malindi Road in Mombasa, the Australian government said in a travel alert on Thursday (October 24). 

Additionally, we advise you to reconsider your need to travel to the Nairobi suburbs of Eastleigh, Kasarani, Kibera and Mathare, due to violent incidents and high crime levels. See the below links:  

Kenya has been on heightened alert since gunmen from the Somali Islamist group al-Shabaab raided a Nairobi shopping mall last month, hurling grenades and spraying bullets at shoppers.

Mombasa and the rest of Kenya’s Indian Ocean coastline depend heavily on tourism, which has suffered in the past year because of western security warnings and riots over the killings of two Islamic clerics.

In 2002, al-Qaeda bombed the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel in Mombasa in an attack that killed 15 people, including three Israelis. On the same day, the militants tried to shoot down an Israeli jet with an anti-aircraft missile.

At least 67 people were killed in the four-day siege at Nairobi’s Westgate mall that began on September 21. Al-Shabaab said it was punishment for Kenya’s sending troops to fight it in Somalia.

Malindi Road in Mombasa houses luxury hotels and beach-front villas popular with western visitors.

Kenyan presidential spokesman Manoah Esipisu said Kenyan security forces had always acted on information about threats against foreigners and had prevented attacks in the past.

COMMENT: For the benefit of our readers, Kenya is not a low-risk destination. Actually, the US Department of State has for years designated Kenya a "critical-threat" post on its list of worldwide criminal threats. Note that "Critical" threat is the highest threat designation used by the agency.

Kenya is not an appropriate destination for inexperienced foreign travelers or those who do not have well-honed personal security awareness skills.