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Why Somali gov't officials have canceled all meetings in Nairobi

Nairobi a no-go zone for Somali government officials

President Uhuru Kenyatta with President of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo during a past event (Twitter)

Somalia government officials will no longer hold meetings in Nairobi following a disagreement on entry visas, an official statement from the government has directed.

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According to Somalia's Director-General Abdullahi Hashi Ali, travel issues have made it infeasible for holders of diplomatic passports to enter Nairobi.

The directive issued on Sunday highlighted a recent ordeal where three senior Somali government representatives were denied entry visas to Nairobi despite having produced their diplomatic passports.

An official communiqué outlined that planned meetings between the Somali Ministry of Health and UN representatives would not go on as scheduled and all subsequent engagements stood canceled.

"Due to recent travel issues to Nairobi, Kenya, the Ministry... will not be able to attend all planned and upcoming meetings, workshops, seminars and trainings to be held in Nairobi (and advices that) those events be held inside the country or... at alternative countries for ease of travel," Mr Hashi's statement explained.

Kenya-Somalia border conflict

The row seems to have been aggravated by an ongoing tussle over the two countries' maritime borders.

A suit is currently with the International Court of Justice over the dispute with a ruling expected in September this year.

DG Hashi also directed Non-Governmental Organizations operating in Somalia to relocate to Mogadishu within one month or risk government sanctions.

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