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US envoy's visit coincides with terror fears

18 June 2014, 12:35

Nairobi - The Mpeketoni attack has rendered the visit to the country by United States Deputy Secretary of State, Heather Higginbottom, ironic.

She is expected in the country as part of her four-day, three-country visit to the continent.

The irony is that the visit comes hot on the heels of the US having issued a travel advisory to its citizens against visiting Kenya due to the increased terror attacks in the East Africa country. The latest such onslaught by the dreaded Al Shabaab terror group left more than 50 people in Mpeketoni dead.

In the travel advisory following the offensive, the US advised that the levels of risk varied throughout the country.

“Based on the security situation, the Embassy is reviewing its staffing with an eye toward reduction in staff in the near future,” said the US Department of State in a statement.

Higginbottom was initially expected to meet with senior Kenyan Government officials to discuss a range of issues of mutual interest in the US-Kenya partnership, such as health, wildlife conservation, economic development and commercial ties, and security.

“Deputy Secretary Higginbottom will visit U.S.-supported health and economic development projects, including a Kenyan company that exports its products to the United States. She also will hold discussions with private sector and civil society leaders,” read a statement ahead of her visit.

However, recent developments, chiefly the terror attack in Mpeketoni, suggest a change in the agenda of planned meetings.

Meanwhile, Kenya will be the last stop of Higginbottom’s Africa tour.

This will follow visits to Liberia and Senegal.

 – CAJ News

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