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Diplomatic tiff after Somalia envoy arrested in swoop

Diplomatic relations between Kenya and Somalia have taken a dip after a senior Somalia diplomat was arrested in the ongoing crackdown on illegal immigrants in Nairobi.

Consular Ahmud Shire was arrested and briefly detained in a Nairobi police station on Friday. He was later released from police custody.

Somalia Ambassador to Kenya  Mohamed Ali Nur Ameriko has been summoned to Mogadishu to explain the circumstance of the arrest and release of the diplomat.

The Ambassador however clarified that he has not recalled but only went to Mogadishu to brief his government on the issue.

“I was not recalled. I was just called to Mogadishu to talk to the cabinet on the issue of our consular who was illegally arrested in Nairobi.”

“I just came here for consultation but I will go back to Nairobi. My deputy and others are still in Nairobi and the embassy is still open,” he added.

Ambassador Ameriko told VOA Somali Service that Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs had apologized for the incident, but the Somali government insists on being furnished with information on the circumstance leading to the arrest.

“This is the first time a Somalia diplomat has been arrested by Kenyan police forces and Secertary of Foreign Affairs Amina Mohamed called me and she apologized. However as a government, we have complained officially and we expect official response from Kenyan government,” said Mr Ameriko.

Mr. Ameriko explained that consular Ahmud shire was going to his home when he encountered a police check point in Hurlingham.

“The police asked him for his identification document, he showed them his diplomatic card; however was told to come out of the vehicle and be taken to the police station.”

“I tried to talk to the OCPD that the person arrested was a diplomat and should not be arrested because he was legally in Kenya but they refused.

The Ambassador is still in Mogadishu and will return to Nairobi after a decision has been made on the matter.