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Local News

Leaders Plead for 7 Kenyans Held in Somalia for 29 Days

May 6th ยท 1 min read

Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) Chairman Khelef Khalifa pleaded with the government to let in seven Kenyans who are stranded in Somalia.

The Kenyans have been held in Ras Kamboni for about a month after Lamu County Commissioner Irungu Macharia denied them entry into the country.

The seven are Muhula Mwangala, Martin Mwangazi, Kailu Mwanyumba, Michael Mjala, Gabriel Kennedy, Elium Mwalili and Abass Mutuku.

Muslims for Human Rights (MUHURI) Chairman Khelef Khalifa (centre) addressing a press conference in Nyali, Mombasa on January 24, 2019.

Daily Nation

Speaking to the media on Tuesday, May 5, Khalifa revealed how the seven ended up stranded in Somalia, "The group left Kenya for a welding job in Kismayo, Somalia on diverse jets via Jomo Kenyatta International Airport after being cleared by the department of immigration.

"They finished their work on March 31 and started the journey back to Kenya on April 5, now it's about exactly one month since they were blocked at Ras Kamboni, a day later.

"Two Kenya Defense Forces, officers and police from Jubaland questioned their movement. The officers cleared the seven to enter Kenya subject to approval from Lamu County Commissioner, Samson Irungu Macharia, police confiscated their travel documents," narrated the chairman.

Khalifa added that the group had contacted Irungu who said that the border had been closed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The seven were advised on Monday, April 6 to quarantine for 14 days and none of them fell ill after the isolation period elapsed.

Khalifa revealed that the group is living in deplorable conditions after using up all their money.

"The Kenyans have exhausted the money they had earned and are now sleeping on the streets further endangering their lives and health. Their families are destitute and are appealing for the government to grant them access to Kenya.

"The government has previously shown willingness to let these Kenyans into the country since the border of Somalia is closed and Kenyan border is closed, they cannot go back to Kenya via aeroplane," said Khalifa.

Due to the ban of passenger planes in and out of the country, the group was advised to take a boat from Kismayo to Ras Kamboni where they were cleared by Somali government and KDF.

Khalifa noted that Muhuri has written a letter to Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang'i to grant the seven permission to return to Kenya.

last updated: 2020-05-06@18:05