Three Somalia government officials were refused entry at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi for “lacking visas”. The three were, however, holding diplomatic passports.
The officials were part of a government delegation scheduled to attend the launch of European Union-sponsored cross-border conflict management programme on Tuesday.
Those denied entries were junior Minister of Water and Energy Osman Libah and legislators Ilyas Ali Hassan and Zamzam Dahir.
According to the Somali officials, Immigration officials at JKIA told them that they should have obtained visas at the Kenyan embassy in Mogadishu before proceeding.
RETURN TO MOGADISHU
The three later told Somalia-based Radio Dalsan that they were told they would have to return to Mogadishu, even though some of their colleagues traveling on foreign passports had been allowed in.
Traditionally, under a bilateral arrangement, diplomatic passport holders are granted entry visas at ports of entry.
“The Kenyan authorities at the airport informed these guys that such plan has changed, and now everyone has to obtain visas from Kenya’s Mission in Mogadishu,” a senior Somali official in the delegation, but who traveled on a foreign passport, told the Nation on Monday night.
“The officials learnt this change upon arrival as there was no prior communication regarding this.”
The article first appeared on Nairobi News