The U.S. Embassy in Kenya has issued a security alert to U.S. citizens in the country ahead of the presidential elections to be held on August 9 and recalled that “Kenya has periodically experienced pre-election violence during election cycles.”
“Election-related demonstrations take place on a regular basis in the days leading up to the elections and are likely to continue, sometimes blocking key intersections and causing traffic jams,” he explained in his note.
Thus, he has stressed that “demonstrations could be violent on some occasions, requiring the intervention of the Police,” before adding that “on a regular basis there are strikes and other protest activities related to economic conditions.”
“With an abundance of caution, the Embassy has imposed movement restrictions on its personnel in Kisumu. The Department of State reminds U.S. citizens of the continued need for sustained vigilance,” the Embassy in Nairobi has stated.
It has therefore advised its citizens to “check local media,” avoid crowds and protests, “keep a low profile,” “exercise caution when going to banks and ATMs,” “show no signs of wealth,” “review security plans,” “keep travel documents up to date and accessible,” and “carry appropriate identification.”
The main candidates have pledged to ask their supporters to refrain from resorting to violence during the election campaign in the face of what happened in the 2017 elections, which resulted in half a hundred dead and more than a hundred wounded.
Opposition leader Raila Odinga leads opinion polls ahead of the polls by almost two points over his great rival and the country’s deputy president, William Ruto, according to a survey published last week.