The U.S. government issued a travel advisory Monday, warning tourists and other Americans about the potential dangers of being in Kenya in advance of President Barack Obama’s scheduled trip to the East African country later this month, a report said. While the alert did not point to any individual threat to be particularly vigilant of, the U.S. Department of State indicated that “terrorists” could act as Obama visits the capital city of Nairobi, July 24 to 26.
Obama was expected to take part in the sixth annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, prompting the State Department to say, in part, “There is the opportunity for criminal elements to target participants and other visitors. Large-scale public events such as this summit can also be a target for terrorists.”
The president's trip there would come after an attack in Kenya last week that killed more than a dozen people and heightened security concerns throughout the country. Terrorist organization al-Shabab claimed responsibility for the killings, which followed several deadly attacks this year organized by the terror group, including one at Garissa University where militants killed nearly 150 students on campus.
"We continue to be mindful of the need for security forces in Kenya to ensure that even as they engage in counterterrorism efforts, they respect the basic human rights of the population," White House press secretary Josh Earnest said last week. "And this is an admonition that we have leveled on more than one occasion against the Kenyan government." The State Department in May issued a similar travel advisory, primarily based on a threat by al-Shabab.
There is much anticipation by the Kenyan government to welcome Obama to his ancestral homeland, and a $500,000 makeover in Nairobi was underway, though Kenyan officials said the timing of the beautification efforts was merely a coincidence. “This is not about Obama, it is about making Nairobi the city of the future,” Kenya’s environment minister, Evans Ondieki, said recently.
However, some Kenyan citizens, including at least one politician, have expressed their displeasure with Obama over his support for same-sex marriage and abortion rights. "We are telling Mr. Obama when he comes to Kenya this month and he tries to bring the abortion agenda, the gay agenda, we shall tell him to shut up and go home," Irungu Kangata, a lawmaker in the National Alliance party, told Breitbart.com, the Christian Examiner reported.