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FCO changes travel advice to Kenya

FCO changes travel advice to Kenya

The Foreign Office (FCO) has changed its travel advice to British tourists visiting Kenya following two recent attacks on Westerners staying at beach front properties.

The FCO advising against all but essential travel to within 150km (instead of the previous 60km limit) of the Kenya-Somalia border.

On Saturday an elderly, disabled French woman was attacked at her holiday house in the resort island of Manda and taken to Somalia.

Last month a British couple were attacked at their luxurious resort, further north in Kiwayu. The husband was shot dead by gunman while his wife was kidnapped.

The Foreign Office advice states: “We now advise against all but essential travel to within 150km (previously 60km) of the Kenya-Somalia border, including along the coast strip north of Pate Island towards Somali waters.

“Both attacks were on beach-front properties, with two Westerners kidnapped and one murdered. Beach-front accommodation in that area and boats off the coast are vulnerable.

“The advice is kept under constant review in the light of the situation on the ground.”

The Somali government is still looking for Mrs Tebbutt, 56, from Hertfordshire.

Meanwhile Hon. Najib Balala, The Kenyan Minister for Tourism has released the following statement about the French woman:

“The Government of Kenya wishes to confirm that an elderly lady of French origin, Ms. Marie DeDieu, was abducted from a private residence in Manda Island, at 3.30 am this morning.

“Two gunmen stormed the residence and took the hostage to a waiting speedboat before fleeing into international waters. It is believed that the perpetrators are gunmen operating from Somalia.

“Kenyan security forces immediately embarked on efforts to locate and rescue the hostage, with the Kenyan Navy pursuing the speedboat with assistance from aerial surveillance. As of now the rescue effort is still on-going.

“The Government of Kenya deeply regrets this incident given that security and safety of tourists and visitors to Kenya is of paramount importance. It has noted that this incident took place in a private residential area whilst security in tourist facilities has already been increased.

“We wish to reassure visitors to our North-Eastern coast and indeed to all other tourism areas in the country that the Government is closely monitoring the situation with a view to ensuring high-level security for everyone. Tourism being an important sector to Kenya’s economy, the Government will spare no efforts in ensuring tourists enjoy their holidays and stay in the country without any apprehension.

“In addition the Government of Kenya, acknowledging that this is a world-wide problem, is urgently joining with allies in the United Nations to re-enforce and enhance action already being taken in the Indian Ocean area to combat such incidents.“