Somalia Minister, Senators denied entry into Kenya back home

Somalia
By Staff reporter , Garowe Online

MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Somali delegation blocked at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) and denied entry into Kenya for lack of visas has returned back to Mogadishu on Tuesday, Garowe Online reports.

The deputy minister of Energy Osman Libah and Senators Ilyas Ali Hassan and Zamzam Dahir, were part of a delegation set to attend an EU sponsored conflict management program on Tuesday, May 21.

Sources said the three senior Somalia government officials spent their night at JKIA having diplomatic passports with them but Kenya’s Immigration authorities at the JKIA refused them enter into Nairobi.

The Kenyan Immigration authorities at the airport informed the minister and the MPs that they should have obtained valid visas issued by the Kenyan embassy in Mogadishu before arriving in the country.

The Somali officials traveled back to Mogadishu after being stranded at JKIA, as their colleagues in the same delegation, including ministers with foreign passports, were allowed access to Nairobi afterward.

There has been a bilateral arrangement allowing the Somali diplomatic passport holders be granted entry visas on their arrival at airports in Kenya, but, now the deal has been changed without prior notice.

Confirming the reports, Director General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Captain Gilbert Kibe, the decision was purely for security reasons, noting that the suspension will last until August 9.

However, the Federal Government of Somalia has claimed that it was not aware of the initial policy towards Somali diplomatic and service passport holders had changed.

A resident in Nairobi, Fara Jama says Kenya's Police and KRA officials conducted search and checking on Tuesday if Hawalas [Somali money transfer firms] are complying financial and money transfer rules.

The two neighboring countries are at loggerheads after Nairobi accused Mogadishu of auctioning oil exploration rights for a disputed part of the Indian Ocean which dispute is yet to be resolved by ICJ.

The tussle began in August 2014 when Somalia sued Kenya at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands, for unlawful operations in her maritime territory.

This is after Nairobi accused Mogadishu of auctioning oil exploration rights for a disputed part of the Indian Ocean which dispute is yet to be resolved in an international court.

The tussle began in August 2014 when Somalia sued Kenya at the International Court of Justice at The Hague, Netherlands, for unlawful operations in her maritime territory.

GAROWE ONLINE