Somali PM angry over diplomat’s arrest in Kenya

Asad Cabdullahi MataanBy Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

The security operation has focused on Eastleigh, a mainly Somali neighbourhood in Nairobi, where six people were killed in grenade explosions on 31 March.

Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdiweli Sheikh Ahmed said his government was seriously concerned about the arrest of law-abiding Somalis who had made a vital contribution to Kenya’s economy.

“Both our governments share the same security concerns, but the continued detention of innocent Somalis only serves to create an atmosphere of fear and mistrust that will result in dividing our communities,” he added in a statement.

He said Somalia would seek an official explanation from Kenya about the arrest of Mr Shire, described as a political consular at its embassy in Nairobi.

Mr Shire was picked up from his home, and released a few hours later following the intervention of Somalia’s ambassador, Mohammed Ali Nur, Kenya’s privately owned Standard newspaper reports.

Kenya deported 82 Somalis on 9 April after accusing them of living illegally in Kenya.

Last month, Kenya’s government ordered all Somali refugees living in towns to move into designated camps in a bid to end militant attacks.

On 24 March six people died in an attack on a church near the port of Mombasa.

Somalia has been been hit by instability for more than two decades, forcing hundreds of thousands of people to flee across the border.

Kenya also has a large ethnic Somali population of its own.