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Archive for Kenya

Newsline: US reopens diplomatic mission in Somalia after 28-year closure

The US has established its first diplomatic presence in Somalia for nearly 30 years. The state department said the “historic event” reflected the progress the east African nation had made. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto is heading the embassy in Mogadishu. Previously it had been based in Nairobi, Kenya. The US closed its embassy in Somalia in January 1991 amid fighting between rebels and the government and had to airlift out its ambassador and staff.



Newsline: U.S. Denies Plans to Relocate Nairobi Embassy Offices to Somalia

The US Embassy made clarifications after sections of the media reported that the U.S Mission to Somalia located at the U.S embassy in Nairobi, Kenya would be moved to Mogadishu. This was after United States Ambassador to Somalia Donald Yamamoto was quoted by a Voice of America (VOA), journalist to have implied that the move could take place before the end of the year. The United States Mission to Somalia in a statement refuted the reports, indicating that Yamamoto had been misquoted by the VOA journalist. “Ambassador Yamamoto was interviewed by VOA journalist Sahra Abdi Ahmed. Her tweet, the US Embassy in Nairobi would move to Somalia as early as December, does not accurately reflect what was stated in the Interview,” the statement reads in part. The mission clarified that its department staff currently travel from Nairobi to Somalia for diplomatic engagements but the US was keen on re-establishing its diplomatic presence in Somalia. In 2015, former US Secretary of State John Kerry announced plans to re-open the embassy in Mogadishu.


Newsline: South Sudan denies defection of diplomat in Kenya

The South Sudanese embassy in Kenya dismissed rumours about the defection of one of its diplomats to a rebel group led by General Paul Malong Awan. The diplomatic mission in Nairobi was reacting to a statement announcing the defection of Minister Plenipotentiary Kur Garang Deng to the South Sudan United Front/Army (SSUF/A) of Gen Malong who is based in Kenya too. Deng in his alleged statement of defection denounced the bad leadership, tribalism, lack of governance, killing of civilians and corruption. Also, in the personal statement appeared the stamp of the embassy but it was obviously photocopied from another document. “We would like to unequivocally state that this document is not genuine and is aimed at defaming and maligning the character and name of Mr Kur Garang Deng and the Embassy in an attempt to create obstacles in his dispensation of duties at the mission,” said a statement. The embassy further denounced the “smear campaign” against its diplomat and pointed out that the stamp has been copied and pasted onto the document and also the document bears no signature. Kenya hosts thousands of South Sudanese and over 115,000 refugees from South Sudan.


Newsline: Kenyan ambassador to the US accused of wrongful dismissal

Two former employees of the Kenyan embassy in Washington, DC have accused the ambassador to the US, Mr Robinson Njeru Githae, of wrongfully dismissing them from the consulate. In an exclusive interview with the Nation and in a letter addressed to the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mr Jafred Musamba and Mr Joseph Asweto argue that their two-year contracts have not expired. In the letter to ambassador Macharia Kamau, they ask the ministry to intercede so they are reinstated. In termination letters issued on August, 24, 2018, the embassy says the two were dismissed after attaining retirement age. “Records held in this office indicate that you attained the retirement age of 60 years on January 1, 2015. In accordance with Section D.21 of the Human Resources Policies and the Procedures Manual for the Public Service and Local Staff Regulations, one is required to retire from the service on attainment of the retirement age,” the letters seen by the Nation state in part. The complainants, however, denied the embassy’s claim that they were fired because they reached age 60, saying 65 is the official age of retirement. They did not deny that they are at least 60 years old. In this claim, they seem to be using the US retirement requirement, whose age is 65.


Newsline: Kenyans in Germany demonstrate over poor services by the Kenyan embassy

Kenyans in Germany demonstrated over poor services by the Kenyan embassy in Berlin. They claim the embassy has unfair and unreasonable requirements for the processing of visas using e-passport. They have urged President Uhuru Kenyatta to come to their aid as he promised them two years ago when he visited Germany and recognized them as the 48th County. Most of them claim the embassy cites lack of machine as the reason why it’s takes long for them to process the visas. In the past, they have been forced to fly back to Kenya to have their finger prints taken.


Newsline: Chinese embassy warns tourists to be on guard against hippos in Kenya

The Chinese Embassy in Kenya has warned travelers to be alert to dangers in visiting wildlife after a tourist from China’s Taiwan died while another was injured in an attack by a hippopotamus on the shores of Lake Naivasha. The two tourists were taking photos when they were attacked by the hippo at around 3 p.m. on Saturday at Sopa Resort about 95 km northwest of Nairobi. The embassy’s statement said it’s important for tourists to be on guard against dangers, noting several incidents of hippos attacking Chinese here in recent years. Tourists are urged not to get close to hippos, especially calves, or feed them because the huge mammals may attack rapidly and have a powerful bite once they feel threatened, which can include startling them with a camera flash. The embassy also suggests tourists be mindful of wild animals in the reserve areas of Kenya such as lions, cheetahs and rhinos.


Newsline: American embassy attack was Kenya’s wake up call

Walk into almost any building in Nairobi today and you are sure to undergo at least a cursory body search. This is the legacy terror group Al Qaida left 20 years ago today, when it bombed the American Embassy, killing 224 people and wounding more than 4,000 others. Since then, most building entrances are manned by uniformed guards, who search visitors with metal detectors and record their names, ID and phone numbers. Ubiquitous private security guards and regular street patrols by uniformed policemen have made Nairobi an openly militarised city. Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i announced in May that the government was considering arming private security guards, but some people felt it would be ill-advised, given the guards’ low level of training and skills.