In recent alerts, the United States and the United Kingdom have cautioned their citizens against visiting Jinja City, Uganda’s national parks, and advised them to avoid crowded places. These travel warnings have been issued due to concerns over safety in the region.
One of the key events prompting these warnings is the upcoming Nyege Nyege festival, a four-day celebration that draws both foreign and local tourists, as well as other revelers to Jinja City. While the festival is a source of entertainment and cultural exchange, it has faced criticism from religious leaders, lawmakers, and moralists in Uganda, who consider it immoral. Organizers of the festival, however, refute these allegations.
The UK High Commission issued a statement on Tuesday, cautioning their nationals against non-essential travel to Jinja City. The statement from the Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO) highlights the growing terror threat in Uganda, with particular concerns about foreigners being targeted. It advises individuals to steer clear of large gatherings, including significant worship events, music festivals, and cultural gatherings in Uganda.
The security situation in Uganda became a matter of international concern when, on October 17, a British citizen named David Barlow, his South African wife Emmaretia Geyer, and their Ugandan tour guide Eric Alyai were tragically shot dead by suspected Allied Democratic Forces (ADF) rebels in Queen Elizabeth National Park. This incident raised red flags about the safety of tourists visiting the national parks in the country.