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Why PMs Netanyahu and Modi got 19-gun salute

Prime Ministers Benjamin Netanyahu and Narendra Modi have been accorded state receptions, complete with gun salutes, in their visits to Nairobi.

The gun salute for visiting heads of state and heads of governments is a protocol borrowed from the naval tradition of firing cannons for dignitaries.

PHOTO | PSCU
PHOTO | PSCU

The gun salutes drop with two guns depending to the occasion and office held by the visiting dignitary

For instance, the gun salute for Prime Ministers are traditionally fewer than the ordinary 21-gun salute reserved for heads of states.

PHOTO | PSCU
PHOTO | PSCU

President Barack Obama was accorded a 21-gun salute as a head of state during his July, 2015 visit. Prime Ministers Netanyahu and Modi were accorded 19-gun salute because they are heads of governments.

The Vice President of the United States of America is accorded a 19-gun salute during foreign visits.

PHOTO | PSCU
PHOTO | PSCU

Strangely when Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn visited Kenya in June 2016, he was accorded a 21-gun salute. The country has a siting head of state called President Mulatu Teshome.