The United States has issued a travel warning for Kenya as a result of the Sep. 21 attack on Nairobi's Westgate shopping mall, but Kenyan officials are responding today by asking that the warning be lifted, calling the alert "unfriendly."
On Friday, the U.S. Department of State issued a travel warning asking that travelers headed for the east African country "evaluate their personal security situation in light of continuing and recently heightened threats from terrorism and the high rate of violent crime in some areas." That warning is a re-issuing of an advisory put out on July 5 of this year.
According to Reuters on Sunday, Kenyan Interior Minister Joseph Ole Lenku expressed the country's displeasure with the re-issued advisory during an update on the investigation into the Westgate attack, which has been claimed by Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab.
"We are concerned by the advisory which is uncalled for, unnecessary, and unfriendly," Ole Lenku said. "We believe issuing the travel advisory is counter-productive in the fight against global terrorism."
The minister also told his countrymen to remain calm during this time of heightened security, adding that other countries typically do not do "anything to increase the pain of the victim country" when nations they are friendly with are attacked.
The state department advisory notes that it continues to receive information about possible attacks in Kenya, particularly in Nairobi and the coastal city of Mombasa.
As for the suspects in last weekend's attack, Ole Lenku said that nine are in custody with one arrested on Sunday.