Kenya on high alert amid strife in neighbour countries

Thursday November 04 2021

A road sign in Moyale near the Kenya-Ethiopia border. FILE PHOTO | NMG


Kenya has heightened security and vigilance along its borders and at critical installations in response to the fluid situation in some neighbouring countries.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Police Spokesperson Bruno Shioso said the move is aimed at cushioning the country from the adverse effects of conflict. 

“As an immediate neighbour to some of the affected countries, Kenya may be adversely impacted,” said Mr Shioso.

In that regard, Kenyans have been advised to exercise vigilance and caution in their surroundings, and report suspected undocumented foreigners and unprocessed immigrants to the nearest police station.

Ethiopia declared a state of emergency on Tuesday and asked residents to register their weapons and get ready to protect their neighbourhoods following reports that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front had captured two cities and was advancing towards the capital, Addis Ababa.

The country has been experiencing armed conflict and civil unrest as government forces battle Tigrayan rebels since last November.


The United Nations has since called for an immediate cessation of hostilities and unrestricted humanitarian access to Tigray, Amhara and Afar, amid calls for dialogue among the warring factions.

“The possible consequences of a spiralling conflict on the country and the region are frightening to contemplate, but it is not too late to choose dialogue,” said Rosemary DiCarlo, the undersecretary for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs.

The situation in Ethiopia remains largely unpredictable, volatile and highly tense, with fears that more refugees might cross over to Kenya.

The United States has issued a travel advisory restricting its embassy personnel in Addis Ababa from travelling outside the capital’s limits.

“We strongly suggest that US citizens seriously reconsider travel to Ethiopia and those who are currently in Ethiopia to consider making preparations to leave the country,” the US Embassy in Ethiopia warned.


At the same time, Sudan is in the middle of a military coup that began last week. The military dissolved civilian rule, arrested political leaders including Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok, and declared a state of emergency.

The coup has seen civilians hold protests in several cities, including the capital Khartoum.

The United States has cut off $700 million worth of direct aid to the country in response to the coup and at the same time demanded that the military release the civilian leaders and restore the transitional government.

Other neighbouring countries that are in conflict are Somalia and parts of Mozambique among others.