Somalia protest Kenya's detention of govt delegation at airport
23 February 2016, 23:31
Mogadishu - Somalia on Monday demanded that Kenya explain why it
detained Somali lawmakers at an airport when they were traveling as part of a
government delegation, in the latest diplomatic row between the East African
Kenya, along with several other African states, has sent
troops to Somalia to help the Mogadishu-based government fight al Shabab,
Islamist rebels with ties to al Qaeda. But relations between the two countries
have been testy in recent years.
Somalia and Kenya dispute the location of their maritime
boundary line in the Indian Ocean, and Kenya has sold oil and gas-drilling
rights to foreign companies in the disputed zone. Somalia has also protested
Kenya's plan to build a 700-km wall along their border.
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The latest row comes after Somali lawmakers traveling to
Turkey with Somali Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke arrived in Kenya's Jomo
Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) in the capital of Nairobi on Saturday.
The lawmakers were not given visas on arrival and were
detained several hours, said Somali government spokesman Abdisalam Aato.
All flights from Somalia to Kenya stop for extra security
checks at the town of Wajir, near the Somali border, but the flight the
lawmakers were on did not do this. The Somali government said the country's
leadership is exempt from rule.
"The Federal Government of Somalia protests this
unwarranted incident at JKIA and expects full justification and explanation
from Kenya," Somalia's government said in a statement.
The Kenyan presidency was not immediately available for
Kenyans say extra security checks on are needed because
security at the Mogadishu International Airport is poor.
Earlier this month a bomb was smuggled on to a plane at
Mogadishu airport. It exploded in mid-air but only killed the suspected suicide