Kenyan security on high alert ahead of Obama visit

2015-07-24 17:28
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

This is what Barack Obama’s ancestral home looks like

United States President Barack Obama is en route to Africa for a three-day visit to his father’s homeland, Kenya. This is Obama’s first visit to Kenya as a sitting president. Though the country is excited to be hosting him, residents of Nyang’oma Kogelo are disappointed that he will not see the village his father was born and buried in.

Nairobi - A massive security operation is in place to protect President Barack Obama during his visit to Kenya, which has been frequently targeted by al-Shabaab militants based in neighbouring Somalia.

Ahead of Obama's arrival on Friday evening, large numbers of security forces patrolled in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. Several US military aircraft were spotted flying around the city. There have also been significant military attacks on Islamic militant targets in Somalia in recent weeks.

Major Nairobi roads will be temporarily closed and authorities said the international airport will be closed at times coinciding with Obama's landing and departure Sunday for Ethiopia. Safaricom, a mobile network operator, warned of disruptions while Obama is in Nairobi to meet entrepreneurs and hold talks with Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta.

"We recognise the fact that as the most protected individual in the world, there will be some security measures undertaken by his team which could include the temporary disruption of mobile signals close to where the President is at any given time," Safaricom said.

Al-Shabaab, which is linked to al-Qaeda, has conducted major attacks in Kenya, including the 2013 attack on Nairobi's Westgate mall and an April attack in Garissa town that killed nearly 150 people.

This month, Somali officials said African Union and local troops seized Bardhere, one of the last major towns held by extremists in Somalia's southwest. A militant commander was also killed in a US drone strike, according to Somali and US officials.

A Somali intelligence official told The Associated Press that the use of surveillance drones has increased in the past two weeks.

"They are watching militants' movements towards Kenya so closely," said the official, who requested anonymity because he is not authorized to speak to the media.

Read more on:    al-shabaab  |  barack obama  |  us  |  kenya  |  east africa

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.