Kenya elections and warning

This item appears on page 15 of the December 2017 issue.
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In Kenya, the outcome of an election in August that would have resulted in the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta was annulled by the Kenyan Supreme Court after the court discovered “irregularities” in the voting process. Another vote was scheduled for Oct. 26. During protests and sectarian violence that took place after the first vote was annulled, at least 50 people were killed.

In the new election, Kenyatta won 98% of the votes and was declared president. However, voter turnout was only about 40% nationally, with districts that supported opposition candidate Raila Odinga in the first election not allowed to vote. Challenges to the revote were still being heard by the Supreme Court at press time. 

In addition, the US Department of State warns travelers to avoid the border area between Kenya and Somalia because of threats by the terrorist group al-Shabaab. Terrorist attacks involving improvised explosive devices and shootings have occurred on the Somalia border and along northern portions of the Kenyan coast.

A broader terrorism threat, as well as a high risk of crime, exists throughout the rest of Kenya, including within Nairobi. The Department recommends avoiding travel in the northeastern counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa; the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu in their entirety; all areas north of Malindi in Kilifi County, and the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.

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In Kenya, the outcome of an election in August that would have resulted in the reelection of President Uhuru Kenyatta was annulled by the Kenyan Supreme Court after the court discovered “irregularities” in the voting process. Another vote was scheduled for Oct. 26. During protests and sectarian violence that took place after the first vote was annulled, at least 50 people were killed.

In the new election, Kenyatta won 98% of the votes and was declared president. However, voter turnout was only about 40% nationally, with districts that supported opposition candidate Raila Odinga in the first election not allowed to vote. Challenges to the revote were still being heard by the Supreme Court at press time. 

In addition, the US Department of State warns travelers to avoid the border area between Kenya and Somalia because of threats by the terrorist group al-Shabaab. Terrorist attacks involving improvised explosive devices and shootings have occurred on the Somalia border and along northern portions of the Kenyan coast.

A broader terrorism threat, as well as a high risk of crime, exists throughout the rest of Kenya, including within Nairobi. The Department recommends avoiding travel in the northeastern counties of Mandera, Wajir and Garissa; the coastal counties of Tana River and Lamu in their entirety; all areas north of Malindi in Kilifi County, and the Nairobi neighborhood of Eastleigh.