News 2008


Envoy says US travel advisories to remain


March 10, 2008

By Maseme Machuka

The US travel advisories on Kenya still stand. US Ambassador, Mr Michael Ranneberger, said the US Government was yet to review the advisories despite the signing of a political deal between President Kibaki and ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga.

"We are yet to lift it. The advisory still stands. When we lift them, it will be made public," he said. Speaking at the Law Society of Kenya annual dinner, Ranneberger said the advisories would stand until the US Government advised on the same.

The advisory, which was updated last month, warns US citizens to
exercise caution whenever they want to travel to Kenya. In a statement
posted on the embassyís website dated February 8, the travel warning was
issued to update US citizens on safety and security conditions in Kenya.

"The United States Peace Corps has decided to temporarily suspend its programme in Kenya due to the continuing instability associated with the post-election dispute. This travel warning also reminds American citizens that the US Department of State has authorised non-emergency personnel and family members to depart from Kisumu and Kericho to Nairobi.

We urge American citizens to defer all travel to Rift Valley, Western, and Nyanza provinces." The warning superseded the earlier one of October 18, and incorporated key information from the Kenya travel alert of January 31. Many leaders have called on the US to lift the advisory, which they say has affected the tourism industry.

Last year during his campaigns, ODM leader, Mr Raila Odinga, called on the US to lift the ban to boost tourism and allow American tourist to visit their favourite destination. Americans who travelled to or resided in Kenya despite this travel warning were asked to register through the State Departmentís travel registration website to make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.