President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga. PHOTOS | NATIONPresident Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga. PHOTOS | NATION
By Kevin J Kelley

The US State Department issued a travel alert on Wednesday, warning of possible violence related to the scheduled October 17 election.

The new notice comes less than a week after the US had urged travelers to Kenya to take precautions against the threat of al-Shabaab terrorist attacks.

The latest alert notes that rallies and demonstrations “may occur with little notice.”

It adds, “even events intended to be peaceful can turn confrontational and escalate into violence.”

The State Department says there is no indication that US citizens may be targeted, but it urges them to “exercise caution and remain abreast of the security situation throughout the electoral period.”

The travel warning issued on September 8 warned US citizens to avoid visits to six counties: Mandera, Wajir and Garissa in the northeast, along with Tana River, Lamu and parts of Kilifi on the Coast.

Nairobi’s Eastleigh neighbourhood should also be regarded as a no-go area, the State Department said in that notice.