French, UK embassies in Kenya urge vigilance during Ramadan, Easter citing increased terror risk
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 2 — The French Embassy in Kenya has urged Kenyan citizens and foreign nationals in the country to exercise vigilance during the upcoming Easter and Ramadan holidays citing increased terrorist risk in the country.
It further warned all those present in the country during the period to avoid gatherings which could be potential targets for terrorist groups planning to disrupt peace.
“It is therefore recommended that all people present in the country exercise extreme vigilance and stay away from any gathering during this period,” the French Embassy in Kenya said Thursday.
The United Kingdom Embassy in Kenya also issued a similar warning to its citizens against traveling to a number of areas in the North Eastern region in April.
“The month of Ramadan is expected to start on either 2 or 3 April, and will last 29 to 30 days. Sunday 17 April is the Christian Easter Festival. There is a high risk of terrorism during religious holidays. During this period, British nationals are advised to be extremely vigilant, especially in Nairobi. Attacks could be indiscriminate, and include locations frequented by foreigners including Embassies and hotels,” the UK Embassy in Kenya said.
The Embassy said that there is a heightened threat of terrorism, including terrorist kidnappings, across Kenya.
“Attacks, including terrorist kidnappings, could target Westerners, including British nationals. Attacks could occur at any time, including around religious or other public holidays or celebrations,” it warned.
The warning came a few days after the National Police Service announced that together with its partners within the multiagency framework, they had taken adequate measures to provide security in all public spaces.
Police Spokesperson Bruno Shioso said in a statement on Mar 29, that special arrangements have been made to secure major urban areas including all critical infrastructure and places of interest.
“The security agencies have also enhanced their surveillance and intelligence capabilities against suspicious individuals and organized gangs,’ Shioso said.
He pointed out that the measures are in line with the mandate of the NPS and other security agency partners to safeguard life and property.
“We shall continue to uphold this role with diligence, patriotism and professionalism to protect our motherland and promote peaceful coexistence,’ he added.
Shioso called on the members of the public to embrace community policing partnership and urged them to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activities during the period.
Kenya borders Somalia, a home base for the Al-Qaeda linked terror outfit Al-Shabaab who have staged a series of attacks in the country.