A week ago, the US State Department issued a travel warning to Americans in or traveling to Kenya, saying Kenya is limited in its ability to detect and deter terrorist threats. The Kenyan minister of internal security, John Michuki, declined VOA’s request for an interview to discuss the travel warning. William Ruto, secretary general and presidential candidate for the Kenyan National Union (KANU) spoke with VOA English to Africa reporter James Butty, saying the Kenyan government should have addressed the US travel warning immediately.
“It is very unfortunate that government is taking weeks to respond to a very serious issue like the one that is being raised by that travel advisory because we expected government action…to reassure the international community of our capacity to deal with issues of terrorist and much more important on tourists and citizens of America residing in our country.”
Ruto says the travel advisory has had a serious impact on the Kenyan economy, particularly its tourist industry; he says Kenya is a safe country.
“Kenya is absolutely safe and we have adequate security measures. The tragedy is that government is not explaining to the world what security arrangements we have as a country and the safety of this country.”
Ruto disagrees with the travel warnings.
“I don’t think there’s any element of truth in that because we, as a country, are well equipped to deal with issues of terrorism. In fact I think the capacity of our security agencies to deal with issues of insecurity is very high up on our budget allocations.”
Ruto says the Kenyan government should ask the US government to share whatever information it has that might have led to the travel warning.
“I think the reason why the US government is making such travel advisories is because it has received unsatisfactory cooperation in terms of sharing of information from our own government.”
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