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Tanzania, Kenya Urge End to Travel Warnings
VOA News
25 Jun 2003, 19:43 UTC

The leaders of Kenya and Tanzania have urged the United States and Great Britain to lift travel warnings to east Africa, saying they amount to economic sanctions.

Kenyan President Mwai Kibaki and Tanzanian President Benjamin Mkapa said in a joint statement Wednesday the travel advisories, issued for alleged security threats, and a British ban on flights to Kenya have impacted negatively on the two countries. The statement comes at the end of a state visit by Mr. Kibaki to Tanzania.

The United States has warned its citizens of what it calls credible threats against U.S. interests in the region. It closed its embassy in Kenya on Friday citing what it called concrete information about terrorist activity, and only reopened it Wednesday.

Britain's Foreign Office has advised against travel to Kenya and Tanzania - two of a handful of east African countries that it describes as facing a "clear terrorist threat." It has also stopped its airlines from flying to and from Kenya.

Kenya says the moves have seriously affected its tourism industry. Tourism is a key sector in both Kenya and Tanzania.

On Tuesday, Kenya charged four of its citizens with 13 counts of murder in connection with last November's deadly suicide bombing near the resort city of Mombasa. Officials say they are believed to have ties to an alleged al-Qaida operative, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed.

Sixteen people were killed on November 28 when three suicide bombers drove a car loaded with explosives into the Israeli-owned Paradise Hotel. Minutes earlier, attackers using a shoulder launcher fired missiles at an Israeli airliner leaving Mombasa, but the plane was not hit.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.



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