The US Embassy has clarified an earlier warning it issued to its citizens about travelling to Kisumu city, during the electioneering period after facing criticism from leaders in the area.
In the statement issued on Wednesday, August 3, the Embassy said it had no knowledge of any planned violent attacks rather it was just a routine security alert to ensure the safety of its citizens.
“Alerts of this nature to American citizens are common ahead of elections throughout the world, and the United States has no information to suggest the security situation in Kisumu, or in any other parts of Kenya, have been adversely affected by election preparations,” the US Embassy statement stated.
Kisumu Governor, Anyang’ Nyong’o, took to social media to dismiss the reports as he assured visitors and residents of the city’s safety, further promising that no violence would be witnessed in the area during this election time.
“On the travel advisory issued by the US Embassy Kenya urging American Citizens to avoid travelling to Kisumu, I want to assure those travelling to Kisumu that our people are very peaceful and looking forward to welcoming you. Enjoy our beautiful sunset city,” the Governor said.
The Embassy however emphasized that it was mandated with the protection of its civilians and the report was sent as a precautionary measure so as to ensure their safety at all times.
“The US Department of State has no greater responsibility than the safety and security of U.S. citizens overseas and routinely issues Security Alerts surrounding elections, health conditions, and extreme weather, ensuring U.S. citizens have information that helps inform travel plans,” added the Embassy.
The EMbassy also cautioned US citizens to stay vigilant when visiting ATMs, avoid demonstrations, and crowds, and monitor local media reports.