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Economy

US warns of potential violence in Oct 17 polls

A queue of voters who turned up at Kihumbuini polling station in Kangemi, Westlands on August 8, 2017. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NMG
A queue of voters who turned up at Kihumbuini polling station in Kangemi, Westlands on August 8, 2017. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NMG  

The US State Department issued a travel alert on Wednesday, warning of possible violence related to the October 17 presidential election.

The new notice comes less than a week after the US had urged travellers to Kenya to take precautions against the threat of al-Shabaab terrorist attacks.

Wednesday’s alert notes that rallies and demonstrations “may occur with little notice.” It adds, “Even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.”

The State Department says there is no indication that US citizens may be targeted, but it urges them to “exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the electoral period.”

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The travel warning issued on September 8 warned US citizens to avoid visits to six counties: Mandera, Wajir and Garissa in the northeast, along with Tana River, Lamu and parts of Kilifi on the Coast. Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighbourhood should also be regarded as a no-go area.

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