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UK Foreign Office updates travel advisory for Kenya

Manda AirportThe UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) last week updated its travel advisory and security risk assessments for Kenya. The advisory says Brits should not travel to areas within 60kms of the eastern border with Somalia unless they absolutely have to.

The FCO says Al Shabaab terrorists have been active in southeast counties such as Mandera, Garissa and Lamu and these should be avoided. The update says travellers heading to the islands of Lamu and Manda off the coast of Lamu should not attempt to make the journey by land and sea and need to fly to Manda Airport.

Farther down the coast, the FCO has not placed the cities of Malindi and Mombasa off limits, but says they are both at risk of terror attacks and civil unrest. Inland, the FCO says Nairobi has a similar likelihood of being hit by an attack or will be the setting for more political demonstrations.

Authorities in Kenya have already reacted to the increased risks. The head of the Kenyan national police force has told people to be wary and immediately raise the alarm if they see anything suspicious or violent. The FCO notes political tensions and protests were exacerbated in the run-up to and following the re-election of president Uhuru Kenyatta in late November.

The FCO says the political situation remains tense and all Britons should stay away from possible protest sites and large groups of people in the three cities. The threat from Al Shabaab terrorists has worsened due to Kenyan military actions in Somalia

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