The U.S. Department of State alerts U.S. citizens traveling to or living in Kenya to the upcoming Kenyan elections, scheduled for March 4, 2013, with a possible run-off election at a later date, potentially extending election activities through April 18.
This will be Kenya's first national election since the post-election violence that claimed over 1,000 lives, displaced as many as 600,000 people, and disrupted communications and transportation systems for several weeks in 2007-2008. U.S. citizens were not targeted during the 2007-2008 election violence and the U.S. Embassy currently has no specific threat information indicating U.S. citizens in Kenya might be targeted during this election. Nevertheless, local situations can change rapidly, especially with more than 30,000 polling stations open around the country on Election Day; there is a potential for some general localized violence and/or civil unrest to occur. Isolated instances of violence seemingly linked to political activities have already occurred in some regions of the country, and more are likely to occur before the elections are completed. Also, extremist groups such as al-Shabaab may use violence to exploit election-related tensions and common criminals may take advantage of stretched police resources to commit crimes.
U.S. citizens in Kenya are strongly urged to avoid voter polling places, demonstrations, political rallies, or large crowds of any kind during the election period. Even gatherings intended to be peaceful can turn violent with little or no warning.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is closely monitoring election activity throughout Kenya and will provide updates as the situation warrants on the Embassy website and via Facebook and Twitter. U.S. citizens should monitor these sites, as well as local media. U.S. citizens are advised to be aware of their surroundings and exercise good judgment in the coming weeks. General information on preparing for emergencies is available on U.S. Embassy Nairobi's website at http://nairobi.usembassy.gov/.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi will be closed for non-emergency services on March 4, 2013, for a Kenyan holiday. For emergencies after business hours and on weekends and holidays, U.S. citizens should contact the Embassy Duty Officer via the Embassy switchboard on 020-363-6170.
U.S. citizens in Kenya are encouraged to enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP). By enrolling, U.S. citizens gain access to vital security information and enable the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.
For the latest security information, U.S. citizens traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State's Internet website at travel.state.gov, where the Worldwide Caution, Country Specific Information for Kenya, Travel Warnings, including the Travel Warning for Kenya, and Travel Alerts can be found. An archive of messages to U.S. citizens in Kenya can be found on the Embassy website. Download our free Smart Traveler iPhone or Android app to have travel information at your fingertips.
Up to date information on security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the United States and Canada, or, for callers outside the United States and Canada, a regular toll line at 1-202-501-4444. These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).
For more information, please call 254 (0) 20-363-6622 from outside of Kenya or 020-363-6622 within Kenya, or you may contact ACS by email at Kenya_Acs@state.gov.
The U.S. Embassy in Nairobi is located on UN Avenue in Gigiri, Nairobi. All visitors seeking consular services including American Citizen Services enter at the main Consular entrance located at the front of the Embassy compound off of UN Avenue. The consular entrance is directly adjacent to the Warwick Center opposite the U.N. Complex.