Gov’t ‘not aware’ of JKIA standoff with Somalia Gov’t officials

EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press point with Monica Juma, Minister of ...
EU High Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini at the press point with Monica Juma, Minister of Foreign Affairs

The Government has denied reports that Somalia officials were denied entry at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) over the maritime standoff.

Speaking during a Press conference on Tuesday, Foreign Affairs CS Monica Juma said her office is not aware of any such incident.

All of us travel. If you do not have Visa it will be very difficult to enter into a country,” she said in response to reports that three Somali government officials were stuck at JKIA.

Also Read: Somalia gov’t denies auctioning contested gas, oil blocks

A tweet from Dalsan FM, a leading radio station in Somalia, had claimed that Osman Libah (Deputy Minister of Water and Energy) and Senators Ilyas Ali Hassan and Zamzam Dahir had arrived in Nairobi for a U.N. conference but were stopped at the airport.

“(They) confirmed denied access into Kenya. The three are tonight (Monday) stranded at the JKIA airport Nairobi awaiting to return back to Mogadishu Tuesday morning,” Dalsan FM said.

Reports indicate that they have since returned to Somalia.

On Tuesday, responding to questions over the abduction of two Cuban doctors and ransom demands from Al Shabaab, CS Juma said the government will not negotiate with terrorists.

Suspected Al Shabaab militants who abducted two Cuban doctors in Mandera have demanded Ksh.150million in ransom. They were abducted on April 12 this year.

Also Read: Abductors demand Ksh.150M ransom for Cuban doctors

Amb. Juma has also called on the European Union to support lobbying for listing of the Al-Shabaab as a terrorism organisation by the UN Security Council.

Addressing the same Press conference, Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, offered assurance on their support for peace and security in the horn of Africa.

“The positive thing is that Monica [Juma] and I agreed today on a certain number of very concrete follow-ups to be done. We have given our teams a to-do list that we will check regularly on many different issues,” she said.

Earlier, Ms. Mogherini held talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta at State House on trade relations and Kenya’s role in regional security.

She also led a delegation in inaugurating the new European Union embassy in Nairobi; the second largest in the world.

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