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Nyege Nyege Festival : US and UK Issue Travel Advisories Cautioning Against Visiting Jinja City, Uganda

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Days before the much-anticipated Nyege Nyege Festival, the United States and Britain have raised concerns by issuing advisories, warning their citizens against traveling to Jinja City in Uganda. Both nations have attributed this caution to what they describe as “growing terror threats” in the Eastern Uganda-located city.

Separate statements from the US and the UK highlighted the increased risk, urging their nationals to avoid visiting Jinja City unless it is absolutely necessary. The advisories stress the potential dangers, cautioning against participating in large gatherings, including music and cultural festivals, and advising travelers to steer clear of such events in Uganda.

The UK High Commission’s statement, by the FCDO (Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office), reads, “Advises against all but essential travel to Jinja Town. There is a growing terror threat in Uganda, including the targeting of foreigners. Avoid large gatherings, including large-scale worship, and music and cultural festivals in Uganda.”

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Likewise, the US advisory from the Embassy in Kampala states, “Due to increased terrorist activity, U.S. Embassy Kampala recommends that individuals exercise an elevated degree of caution and reconsider attendance at upcoming large public gatherings, such as large-scale worship services and music and cultural festivals in Kampala and Jinja.”

The warnings come in the wake of a recent incident in October where gunmen, allegedly belonging to the Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebel group, ambushed and killed three individuals, including two foreign tourists, at a popular Ugandan national park. Fred Enanga, the police spokesperson, confirmed the unfortunate incident, stating that the victims were attacked while traveling through the Queen Elizabeth National Park, resulting in the loss of lives and the torching of their safari vehicle.

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Enanga further highlighted the swift and robust response from security forces in pursuing the suspected ADF rebels in response to the attack.

As the Nyege Nyege Festival approaches, these warnings issued by the US and the UK are a stark reminder of the current security concerns in Jinja City, urging a reconsideration of travel plans and a heightened level of caution during this period of increased risks and potential threats.

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