US Embassy cancels travel advisory to Kisumu, clarifies it was based on past election trends

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The US Embassy spokesperson in Nairobi says their earlier statement calling on its citizens to avoid any travels plans to the county was taken out of context and does not in any way insinuate that ongoing campaigns and election activities will be affected after the August polls.

In a clarification on Wednesday afternoon, a note attributed to the spokesperson explains the US has no information to suggest Kisumu or any other part of Kenya is adversely affected by elections preparations and that their earlier statement on Kisumu was over the fact the county hosts a significant number of their personnel as well as being a popular destination for its citizen.

”The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi released a routine Security Alert on August 2 in advance of next week’s Kenyan elections.  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.  Kisumu hosts a significant number of U.S. Embassy personnel and is a frequent travel destination for American citizens,” the clarification reads.

In a statement dated Tuesday, August 2, the US Embassy imposed movement restrictions and further cautioned its citizens to only visit the lakeside city if and when necessary, a move that has not only received backlash from Kenyans but also been condemned by Kisumu Governor Anyang Nyongo.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the Embassy has imposed movement restrictions on personnel in Kisumu. The State Department reminds US citizens of the continued need for sustained vigilance,” the Tuesday security alert from the US Embassy read in part.

The Embassy advised them to monitor local media for updates, avoid crowds, avoid demonstrations and be vigilant when visiting banks or ATMs.

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