US advices tourists on places to avoid while in Kenya

"Extra vigilance is required," US embassy stated.

Photo made January 18, 2009 shows tourists shopping in a stall selling 'Obama' merchandise at Nyang'oma village, Kogelo, during festivities to celebrate the anticipated inauguration of America's President elect, Barack Obama. TONY KARUMBA/AFP via Getty Images

The United States has issued a holiday security alert to US citizens planning to visit and those in Kenya for the festivities amidst fears of increased crimes.

In a statement issued on Monday, December 20, the US embassy in Kenya warned that extremist activities are more likely to be carried out during the holidays when an immense crowd gathers in public locations.

“During the holiday season, there is the potential for increased crime and acts of extremism in Kenya. Planned attacks and criminal activity often occur in crowded public locations such as holiday markets, shopping malls, airports.

“Clubs, restaurants, places of worship, transportation hubs, schools, and other areas frequented by tourists. Public events, such as demonstrations, holiday events, and celebratory gatherings are also at a higher risk for brutality,” the statement read in part.

They went further to break down which actions one should take in the event they experience any hostilities.

  • Exercise vigilance at holiday festivals and events, places of worship, and locations with large crowds.
  • Review your personal security plans.
  • Be aware of your surroundings.
  • Monitor local media for updates.

Heightened security

The security alert comes only days after Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai cautioned Kenyans against travelling ahead of the Christmas festivities.

"If you must move, move with caution but also make merry where you are in order to avoid serious health issues in January," he stated.

In addition, the IG stated that National Police Service had embraced the multi-sectoral policing approach and put in place stringent measures to maintain law and order.

He stated that the service had deployed adequate security personnel and enhanced patrols to forestall any security threats.

"To this end, I appreciate the gesture by the Commissioner General Prisons Service for augmenting our strength with an additional 3,000 prison officers," he stated.

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