UK updates kidnapping section of travel advice for Kenya

Silvia Costanza Romano
Silvia Costanza Romano

The British Government have updated the Terrorism: Kidnapping section of their travel advice for Kenya, noting that British aid workers in the country should be satisfied that they have sufficient security arrangements in place.

In November last year, Italian student volunteer Silvia Costanza Romano was kidnapped in Kilifi County. and travel advice was updated soon after as a direct result.

The updated section of the travel advice in full reads:

You should be alert to the heightened threat of terrorist kidnapping targeting Westerners, including British nationals. Westerners have been the target of kidnaps in northern, north-eastern and coastal areas and further kidnaps in these areas are likely. On 20 November 2018, an unknown armed gang attacked a trading centre in Chakama in Kilifi County, and abducted an Italian NGO worker.

If you are kidnapped, the reason for your presence is unlikely to serve as a protection or secure your safe release. On 20 November 2018, an unknown armed gang attacked a trading centre in Chakama in Kilifi County, and abducted an Italian NGO worker. A number of kidnaps have occurred in Dadaab refugee camps in north east Kenya. British aid workers in Kenya should satisfy themselves that those arranging their stay have sufficient security arrangements in place.

The long-standing policy of the British government is not to make substantive concessions to hostage takers. The British government considers that paying ransoms and releasing prisoners increases the risk of further hostage taking. The Terrorism Act (2000) also makes payments to terrorists illegal.

There’s a heightened threat globally against UK interests and British nationals from groups or individuals motivated by the conflict in Iraq and Syria. Find out more about the global threat from terrorism, how to minimise your risk and what to do in the event of a terrorist attack.

For the latest travel advice, please visit the British Government’s Kenya section.

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