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Media reports say UK likely to change travel advisory

The news of Voorspuy’s murder made headlines across UK media which also called into question the government’s failure to deal with ranch invasions in the area by pastoralists.

Sky News pointed out that the Laikipia region is a high profile destination for upmarket tourists to Kenya in part because it is a favourite safari destination of Britain’s royal family.

LONDON

Britain’s Foreign Office has not changed its travel advisory for tourists visiting Laikipia, but media reports in the UK suggest that this is likely to happen in the next few days following the murder of Tristan Voorspuy, a former British army officer.

It is also the most important British army overseas training area where troops prepared for combat operations across the region in facilities that cost £100 million (Sh1.25 billion).

Tens of thousands of cattle have been driven onto Kenyan and foreign-owned ranches, alongside armed militia.

Sky News says the militia “is suspected of close contacts with members of parliament and government figures and there is real concern that northern Kenya is part of a failing state”.

Nic Haily, Britain’s High Commissioner to Kenya, said he was “deeply saddened” by the murder and London has urged the Kenyan authorities “to take all necessary steps urgently to restore law and order, and to protect life and property in the area”.

Voorspuy, a British citizen who was born in South Africa, had gone to inspect damage caused by the raiders on his Sosian Ranch when he was killed.

The Guardian said that while some officials have blamed the land invasions on a severe drought that has made poor herders desperate, others blamed political tensions in the build-up to the elections.

It points out that local ranchers say the land invasions “are politically motivated and part of plans to seize their land”.

UK media reports point out the government has done little to stop invasions and, with polls around the corner, few expect vote-costing action against the illegal grazers.

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