27 October 2017 - RPS Partnership
Yesterday, Thursday 26 October 2017, Kenyans went to the polls in the controversial re-run of the presidential election between the prominent politicians, Mr Raila Odinga and the incumbent President Uhuru Kenyatta.
There is concern in Kenya that the current re-run of the election could lead to further violence in Kenya during the election period.
Some NGOs have reported that at least 67 opposition supporters had been killed in protests nationwide after the first presidential on 11 August 2017, largely caused by police brutality. The Supreme Court consequently ordered the presidential election to be re-run due to misconduct and irregularities at the electoral commission, heightening tensions between Mr Odinga’s supporters and those of the ruling Mr Kenyatta and his Jubilee party. The intervening period has seen frequent outbreaks of violent unrest, particularly in Nairobi, Mombasa and Kisumu.
Protests are planned in the election period and could turn violent.
Avoid travelling around regions outlined in the FCO advice below on and around days of planned protests including areas where demonstrations may take place. This may include large sporting or music events, universities, political party headquarters, the parliament and the offices of the electoral commission.
Monitor local and international media to avoid any demonstration or disturbance taking place. Leave any area of unrest quickly and don’t attempt to watch or photograph it. You should consider making personal contingency plans in case of unrest. Keep up to date with this travel advice by subscribing to email alerts.
BRITISH FOREIGN AND COMMONWEALTH (FCO) ADVICE
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) recommends the following (as at 26 October 2017):
he Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all but essential travel to:
• areas within 60km of the Kenya-Somali border
• Garissa County
• Lamu County (excluding Lamu Island and Manda Island)
• areas of Tana River County north of the Tana river itself
• within 15km of the coast from the Tana river down to the Galana (Athi-Galana-Sabaki) river
The area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel doesn’t include Kenya’s safari destinations in the national parks, reserves and wildlife conservancies; including the Aberdare National Park, Amboseli, Laikipia, Lake Nakuru, Masai Mara, Meru, Mount Kenya, Samburu, Shimba Hills, Tsavo, nor does it include the beach resorts of Mombasa, Malindi, Kilifi, Watamu, Diani, Lamu Island and Manda Island. Mombasa airport (Moi International Airport), Malindi airport and Manda airport aren’t included in the area to which the FCO advise against all but essential travel. If you travel to Lamu Island or Manda Island, you should do so by air to Manda airport and not by road.
Terrorists are very likely to try to carry out attacks in Kenya. The main threat comes from extremists linked to Al Shabaab, a militant group that has carried out attacks in Kenya in response to Kenya’s military intervention in Somalia. There have been a number of attacks in Kenya in recent years, particularly in Garissa, Mandera and Lamu counties and other mainland areas close to the Somali border.
In light of security concerns, the Kenyan government has imposed a curfew in Mandera county and large parts of Lamu county, Tana River county and Garissa county for the hours 6:30pm to 6:30am. This curfew doesn’t apply to Lamu Island, Manda Island or Pate Island. Check local media before you travel.
There’s a heightened threat of terrorist attacks in Nairobi and the coast and resort areas of Mombasa and Malindi. The Inspector General of the Kenyan police has called on the public to adopt a higher level of vigilance and report any suspicious people or activity straight away. See Terrorism
The central county of Laikipia has seen numerous invasions by cattle herders onto privately held ranches and conservancies, in some cases leading to violence and arson.
The security forces are seeking to enforce private property rights. Check the latest situation at your destination ahead of travel to the region. See Safety and Security
The re-run Presidential election date has been set for 26 October 2017. The Opposition have not accepted the new date, and it’s possible the election will be delayed. Protests are planned in this period and could turn violent. The western part of the country has seen an increase in protests in the run up to elections, some of which have turned violent.
Media report that the governors of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Kakamega and Migori have said that elections won’t be allowed to take place in their counties on 26 October. This may trigger further protests. You should avoid travelling around these regions on and around days of planned protests including areas where demonstrations may take place. This may include large sporting or music events, universities, political party headquarters, the parliament and the offices of the electoral commission.
Monitor local and international media to avoid any demonstration or disturbance taking place. Leave any area of unrest quickly and don’t attempt to watch or photograph it.
You should consider making personal contingency plans in case of unrest. Keep up to date with this travel advice by subscribing to email alerts.
There are frequent incidents of violent crime including mugging, armed robbery and carjacking, particularly in the large cities. Avoid driving at night and try to avoid stopping at red lights after dark.
Photo: RPS Partnership Street Market Kenya, with thanks to FCO for mapping
Source: FCO and PGI