How Kenya Will Follow US Format In Issuing Travel Advisories- Alfred Mutua

The CS revealed that he would launch a new Ministry of Foreign Affairs website with an array of features...

How Kenya Will Follow US Format In Issuing Travel Advisories- Alfred Mutua
Foreign Affairs CS Alfred Mutua at Citizen TV studios on January 18, 2023. /ALFRED MUTUA

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs Cabinet Secretary (CS) Alfred Mutua has announced that Kenya will soon have the ability to issue travel advisories on countries across the world that are considered high-risk to its citizens.

Speaking to Citizen TV’s Jeff Koinange on Wednesday, January 18, the CS revealed that he would launch a new Ministry of Foreign Affairs website with an array of features driven at effective service delivery to Kenyans, even those in the diaspora.

Mutua noted that the website will contain among others a job portal that will list available jobs abroad for Kenyans to consider, agencies that can offer jobs to Kenyans and a step-by-step process of applying for visas, among others.

He added that the website will also contain a platform where the country will issue travel advisories to Kenyans regarding reconsidering travel to countries listed in the advisory and travel bans to other countries, a manner that will see it follow the format of developed countries such as the United States (US).

A person working on his laptop. /FILE

“I’ll be launching a new, remodelled and improved website of the Ministry of Foreign and Diaspora Affairs. We are going to concentrate a lot on the provision of services to Kenyans including how to get a job, listing countries that are giving jobs, applications, agencies that can give Kenyans jobs, how to apply for visas, and all those other issues.

“We will also be giving travel warnings telling Kenyans not to go here. I’d like to tell Kenyans that we have so far rescued about 86 Kenyans who have been smuggled out, who went to work in some countries as ICT experts and then taken in as slaves, women who are taken in as sex slaves, people who were tortured, locked up in different countries and they went there just to work, and we will be issuing travel warnings saying not to go to this country, go to this country at your own risk, don’t take jobs in these countries because you will get abducted, killed, trafficked…we’ve got Kenyans who’ve vanished in some countries,” he stated.

When asked about the launch date of the new website, Mutua assured that it would be ready in about two weeks' time.

“We want to take care of Kenyans, we want to provide opportunities to Kenyans to get international jobs, we want to be able to open trade opportunities for Kenyans who are overseas,” he added.

On the matter of Kenyans stranded in Ukraine, which is currently at war with Russia, Mutua noted that there were no Kenyans living in the war-torn regions in the country and as for Russia, he assured that Kenyans residing there were continuing with life as per usual. 

The CS however stated that Kenya joined the rest of the world in the United Nations (UN) in voting against actions taken against Ukraine, terming the war unnecessary.

The US Department of State had in December 2022 advised American citizens not to travel to three regions in Kenya ahead of the festive season, issuing a Level 4 alert on the Kenya-Somalia border counties, three areas in the Coastal region and one in Turkana County.

For the Kenya-Somalia border counties, Americans were cautioned against travelling to Mandera, Wajir and Garissa due to kidnapping and terrorism. The same reason was applied to the areas of Tana River and Lamu County as well as areas of Kilifi County north of Malindi.

In Turkana, Americans were prohibited from travelling through the road from Kainuk to Lodwar due to crime and armed robbery, which occur frequently.

The Nairobi neighbourhoods of Eastleigh and Kibera were issued a Level 3 alert owing to frequent, spontaneous and violent crime"Violent crime, such as armed carjacking, mugging, home invasion, and kidnapping, can occur at any time.  Street crime can involve multiple armed assailants. 

"Local police often lack the resources and training to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents," the advisory read.

Americans were also urged to reconsider travelling to certain areas of Laikipia County, due to criminal incursions and security operations. The department named Nyahururu, Laikipia West, and Laikipia North Sub-counties as risky areas due to ongoing government operations to combat crime, including banditry attacks.

"Consider carefully whether to use the Likoni ferry in Mombasa due to safety concerns," added the department.

Kenya was generally issued a Level 2 alert meaning Americans should exercise increased caution while in the country due to crime, terrorism, civil unrest, and kidnapping. Some areas had increased risks in the two residential areas.

US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. /FILE