The US State Department announced Wednesday that Rwanda is given a level-one rating under which US citizens are advised to “exercise normal precautions.” It is the only EAC country to be granted level-one rating.
US citizens should, however, “reconsider travel to the Rwanda-Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) border due to armed conflict,” the advisory states.
The Department scraps travel warning to Kenya, by giving to the country the second-highest rating
Kenya is placed in the second tier under the new system. When visiting countries in that grouping, US citizens are urged to “exercise increased caution.”
Officials in Kenya and the country’s tourism stakeholders are likely to welcome the changes initiated by the Trump administration, which also comes as Kenya Airways announced direct flights to the US beginning October.
The new advisory flatly warns against travel to the “Kenya-Somalia border and some coastal areas due to terrorism.”
The counties of Mandera, Wajir, Garissa, Tana River and Lamu are included in the suggested no-go area, along with parts of Kilifi County north of Malindi.
It is also suggested that US citizens “reconsider travel to Nairobi neighbourhood of Eastleigh at all times and Old Town in Mombasa at night due to crime.”
Now, as then, US citizens are told that violent crime can occur at any time in Kenya and that police often lack the capacity to respond to criminal incidents.
Tanzania and Uganda are both placed in the level-two group along with Kenya.
Travelers are told to “exercise increased caution in Tanzania due to crime, terrorism, and targeting of LGBTI persons.”
The Uganda section makes no mention of threats to lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans-gender or intersex persons, despite passage of a law in 2013, later annulled by the country’s Constitutional Court, that mandated life imprisonment for “aggravated homosexuality.”
US citizens are simply advised to exercise increased caution in Uganda due to crime.
Burundi is designated a level-three destination. The US tells prospective visitors to “reconsider travel” to Burundi due to crime and armed conflict.