The British government on Thursday denied evacuating its citizens from Mombasa over the rising terrorism threats in the East African nation.
This was coming after more than 600 British tourists on holiday were evacuated from Kenya’s coastal city of Mombasa last week, after London issued travel advisory warning its nationals to stay away from the coastal resorts.
Christian Turner, the British High Commissioner to Kenya, clarified in Nairobi that the British government did not enforce its travel advice.
He said it was for individuals and travel firms to make their own decisions about foreign travel advice and information available from other sources into account.
“Our travel advice for Nairobi or any other part of the country has not changed,” he said.
Turner said though some British tourists flew out of Mombasa last week, it was on the advice of their tour company.
The British high commissioner said government recognised the impact of the terrorism on Kenya, but government was not evacuating its citizens from Kenya.
He added that Britain would continue to be committed to working with Kenya to combat terrorism and pledged that he would play his role to strengthen bilateral relations between Kenya and Britain.
He said, “London has a responsibility to inform its citizens of the potential threats aimed at both Kenya and the international community.
“Our travel advice reflects solely on our objective assessment of the security position. It is kept under constant review.
“The substantive change to our travel advice was to advice against all but essential travel to a specific part of the area around Mombasa.”
Tourism stakeholders in Mombasa said Britain’s Thomson Airline evacuated the visitors for fear of being attacked by terrorists.
They said the sector lost over $4.5m due to advisories over cancellations of bookings.
The stakeholders said Kenya received more visitors from Britain.