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21 Feb 2020 | 09:28 AM UTC

Kenya: Government implements strict transportation limitations in North Eastern province February 20 /update 1

Government implements police escort for buses and bans boda boda taxis in North Eastern province February 20; follow all instructions issued by local authorities

legal
security
transportation
KEN

Event

The Kenyan government has reportedly implemented new transportation regulations for buses and boda boda taxi operators with immediate effect in the North Eastern province as of Thursday, February 20, due to the high number of militant ambushes recently.

According to media sources, all buses driving along Kenya's borders with Somalia and Ethiopia must now be escorted by police forces along the full trajectory. The Kenyan government additionally banned boda boda taxi operators - accused of being used for drug transportation across borders with Somalia and Ethiopia - from operating from 18:00 to 06:00 (local time). The ban will affect operators in the counties of Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, Mandera, Lamu, Tana River, and Turkana.

It remains unclear how long the restrictions will apply for. Additional transportation and travel restrictions may be implemented in the region.

Context

This decision follows a bus attack in Sarman, Mandera County, by suspected Al-Shabaab militants, which led to the death of three people on February 19.

Attacks along the Kenya-Somalia border by Al-Shabaab militants are common, notably targeting security forces with roadside bombs.

Advice

Individuals in northeastern Kenya are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid the area, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.

Due to various security concerns, many Western governments advise against travel to a number of regions in the country, including areas bordering Somalia (parts of Garissa, Mandera, Wajir, and Lamu counties), Ethiopia, and South Sudan. Nonessential travel to the city of Mombasa and several Nairobi neighborhoods (including Eastleigh and Pangani) is also advised against.