JKIA drama seen as a diplomatic assault on Somalia by Kenya

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Somalia Deputy Minister of Water and Energy Osman Libah, Senators Ilyas Ali Hassan and Zamzam

Somalia leaders denial of entry at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport on Monday evening is intensifying the the tiff between Kenya and Somalia. The leaders are Osman Libah (Deputy Minister of Water and Energy) and Senators Ilyas Ali Hassan and Zamzam Dahir.

The three were restricted from gaining entry into the country despite being in possession of diplomatic passports, which under bilateral arrangements guaranteed holder entry visas at the ports of entry.

Liban, the Deputy Energy & Water minister, is said to have travelled to Kenya to attend the launch of the EU Trust Fund for Africa programme to be opened at the United Nations office in Nairobi on Tuesday.

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CS Monica Juma

The radio station posted a picture of the program showing Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma among those expected to address delegates on Tuesday afternoon.

It is alleged that attempts by the Somali embassy in Nairobi to intervene for the three government officials failed.

“Kenyan authorities at the airport informed these guys that previous protocols had changed, and now everyone had to obtain a visa from Kenya’s Mission in Mogadishu,” a senior Somali official in the delegation, but who travelled on a foreign passport, divulged to Kenyan local daily reporters.

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According t Somalia’s Radio Dalsan news, Kenyan diplomatic hierarchy have remained mum at the embarrassing situation, given that the government officials were traveling on diplomatic passports.

Traditionally, under a bilateral arrangement, diplomatic passport holders are granted entry visas at ports of entry.
The latest move is seen as a diplomatic assault on Somalia by Kenya, who only recently blocked direct flights to Nairobi, directing that all planes from Somalia stop at Wajir for security checks.

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The two countries have been at logger heads over oil fields, a case that has since been taken up by the International Court of Justice.

On Tuesday morning, Kenyan police men raided and closed 5 Hawalas operated by Somalia nationals. It was not clear why the raid was conducted despite the fact that the business men had all the needed permits.


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