Jan. 31, the U.S. State Department issued a new travel alert for
Kenya, advising that U.S. citizens "should strongly consider the
risks of travel to Kenya at this time."
The alert comes
during continued violence in Kenya following disputed presidential
elections on Dec. 27. To date, more than 800 people have died in
clashes between opposing political factions, and more than 300,000
have been forced from their homes, according to news
representatives of the rival parties signed an agreement to
complete talks within 15 days to end the political crisis, news
agencies reported. The agreement was mediated by former United
Nations secretary-general Kofi Annan.
On Jan. 30, the State
Dept. authorized non-emergency personnel and family members to
relocate from Kisumu to Nairobi. The department also urged U.S.
citizens to avoid travel to the cities of Kisumu, Nakuru and
Naivasha, and to defer all non-essential travel to the Nyanza,
Western, and Rift Valley provinces.
"The situation in
Kenya is volatile and subject to change on short notice," the State
Dept.'s alert noted.
The Kenya Tourist
Board's Feb. 1 update said that areas of civil unrest were reported
around the cities of Kisumu, Kericho and Eldoret, as well as in
high-density housing estates in outer Nairobi.
The tourist board
said that it now considers the route between the Mara and past
Norok town to be safe and secure, a passageway it had not
considered safe in recent days. The tourist board also said that it
now feels that the road through Naivasha and on to Nakuru is secure
"after confirmation that traffic has been moving without a
problem." Lake Nakura National Park was deemed secure for visitors
with Kenya Wildlife Services rangers on duty.
contact reporter Michelle Baran, send e-mail to [email protected].