A diplomatic row is brewing between Kenya and Somalia following arrest by the Kenya police of the Consular General of Somali embassy on Saturday night.
Mr. Said Mohamud Shire was arrested on his way to his home in a police crackdown in Hurlingham in the ongoing ‘usalama watch’ operation but was later released.
Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya Mr. Mohamed Ali Americo comfirmed the incident saying that even after producing his diplomatic identification, police did not listen to his deputy.
Mr. Americo says that the diplomat requested to see the OCPD of Kilimani who was at the scene and when he pleaded his innocence and produced his diplomatic identification, the senior police officer pocketed it and instructed police to put him in the same lorry that also carried other detainees and instructed the driver to proceed to Kilimani police station.
It was then that Mr. Said called his senior who arrived at the scene to seek his release. However police turned deaf ears and Mr. Americo was forced to seek help by calling senior officials in the government and the National Police service who came in and secured the release of his deputy.
Ambassador Americo added that Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Amb. Amina Mohamed called him to apologize.
Although diplomats enjoy diplomatic immunity, the Consular General of the Somali embassy in Nairobi got the opportunity to ride in the same lorry with illegal immigrants and refugees from his country who were also nabbed in the crackdown.
“We have written officially to the Kenyan government, we have also contacted our government and will visit Mogadishu for briefing” confirmed Mr. Americo.
Both Parliament and the cabinet of Somalia have discussed the issue.