British government warns its citizens against visiting Laikipia

Laikipa insecurity

Elite police officers patrol Olmoran centre in Laikipia County in this file photo.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

The British government has issued a travel advisory to its citizens visiting the country warning them against traveling to some parts of Laikipia due to criminal incursions and the ongoing security operations to wipe out bandits from the region.

“Reconsider travel through Nyahururu, Laikipia West and Laikipia North Sub-Counties,” the advisory that was updated on Tuesday evening indicates.

It also warns against travel to Turkana as well as the neighborhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera due to crimes such as mugging, armed robbery and carjacking and kidnapping.

Increased level of caution had been issued to British nationals travelling to some coastal areas and the area along the Kenya-Somali border due to terrorism and kidnapping.

All non-essential travels to areas within 60 kilometres of the Kenya-Somali border, Eastern Garissa, Mandera) extending to Mandera West Sub-county), Lamu (excluding Lamu and Manda Islands), areas of Tana River County North of the river and within 15km of the coast from the river down to the Galana –Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river.

“There is a heightened threat of terrorism, including terrorist kidnappings across Kenya. Attacks, including terrorist kidnappings could target Westerners including British nationals,” the advisory adds.

It says the attacks could happen at any time including around religious and other public holidays or celebrations but also indicates the likelihood of increased police presence over the festive period.

Other areas that could be targeted according to the advisory are places frequented by foreigners including bars, hotels, supermarkets, shopping centers, commercial buildings, transport hubs, places of worship and government buildings including embassies.

“British nationals are advised to be extremely vigilant in these areas. You should avoid regular patterns of movement and aim to travel during daylight hours,” the advisory states.

The advisory comes almost two weeks after the US updated its travel advisory warning Americans visiting Kenya to exercise increased caution due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest and kidnapping.

The US advisory totally barred its citizens from visiting the areas along the Kenya-Somali border and Turkana and further urged them to reconsider travels to Eastleigh and Kibera.

The Federal Aviation Administration had also issued a Notice to Air Missions (NOTAM) to exercise caution when flying into, out of, within or over the Kenyan border with Somalia due to the possibility of extremist militant activities.

It states that aircrafts flying at low altitudes including the arrival and departure phases of flight as well as airports and aircrafts on the ground.

“Aircraft may encounter fire from small arms, indirect fire weapons such as mortars and rockets and anti-aircraft capable weapons including Man-Portable Air Defense Systems (MANPADS),” the NOTAM that extends to February next year reads in part.

The country is on high alert security following the ongoing heavy Somali government onslaught against Al shabaab militia that has caused security agencies in Kenya to heighten surveillance along the borders to protect the country from a likely spillover of the militia into the country.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s vow on total war against the al-qaeda affiliated group that has continued to attack civilians in the country.

He is seeking an end to not just their endless attacks at hotels and restaurants in Mogadishu that have claimed lives but also their continued extortion of businessmen and locals to finance their activities.

On Tuesday morning a police officer and a civilian died in a suspected terror attack after the police vehicle they were travelling with stepped on an IED before it was hit by a rocket grenade and heavy gunfire about six kilometres off a LAPSSET construction site in Bura East.

The attackers set the vehicle belonging to Galmagalla Police Station ablaze.