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China Issues Unusual Security Alert on Kenya

China Issues Unusual Security Alert on Kenya
President Ruto with Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing, China

China has issued an unusual warning to its citizens in Kenya to “pay attention to safety because, in recent times, Kenya’s domestic security situation has become more uncertain given the global developments”.

“The Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Chinese Embassy in Kenya reminds Chinese citizens in Kenya to pay close attention to the local security situation, strengthen their own safety precautions, try to avoid going to areas where foreign tourists gather and crowded places,” the warning, translated from Chinese, reads in part.

It further adds that the Chinese in Kenya should be cautious when traveling to Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, and Lamu counties and other Kenyan borders.

The advisory, which is the first one to be issued by China on Kenya, comes at a time when the country has been deemed a ‘target’ because of the stance President Ruto made on the ongoing conflict in the Middle East.

The U.S. Embassy in Kenya also issued a terror alert in Nairobi, warning Americans to review their personal security plans.

In a statement published on its official website on Friday 13, 2023, the Embassy said there are high risks of terrorism activities targeting areas frequented by foreigners and tourists in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya.

“Locations frequented by U.S. citizens and other foreigners and tourists in Nairobi and elsewhere in Kenya continue to be attractive targets to terrorists planning to conduct potentially imminent attacks,” the Embassy said.

As a precaution, the US Embassy asked citizens to be vigilant at locations frequented by tourists or foreigners and review their personal security plans.

President William Ruto made a comment in the midst of the ongoing war between the Palestinian Hamas group and Israeli forces and it created a flurry of responses and prompted inquiries about Kenya’s position on the Israel-Hamas conflict. 

The conflict erupted when Hamas, deemed a terrorist group by Israel, launched rocket attacks in response to what they consider Israeli aggression and occupation. While several African leaders have remained silent on the issue, those who did speak up found themselves navigating a delicate balance between supporting the Palestinian cause and condemning Hamas’ actions. 

President Ruto, in a statement released on Saturday evening, hours after the war broke out, chose to stand in solidarity with the State of Israel. He unequivocally condemned “terrorism” and the attacks on innocent civilians, extending Kenya’s deepest sympathy and condolences to all the victims. 

But the President seems to be climbing down from this statement if what he said in Saudi Arabia is something to go by.

“In Kenya, we struggled for independence like the way the people of Palestine are struggling now, and we struggled with terrorism the way Israel has suffered with Hamas,” Ruto said during the Future Investment Initiative Summit held in Riyadh.

Informed by credible intelligence sources, Kenyan Foreign Policy has learned that Nairobi remains vigilant and acknowledges the likelihood of impending consequences.

However, the specific timing of these repercussions remains uncertain.

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