Mogadishu – The news that Somali Cabinet Ministers and senior government officials entered Kenya with Foreign passports after they were denied entry with their Diplomatic passports has angered the Somali people. All interviewed by UM on this agreed that this was wrong.
“This is an unforgivable act of national betrayal by Somali officials. How can they just accept the humiliation like that?” said Nuriya Osman, an experienced NGO worker. “Those Somali officials must be sacked to save our dignity.”
“The use of Foreign passports only shows that these Diaspora politicians do not understand how proud we are of Somalia. They have abused our honour in a country which is now fighting with us openly,” said Abdi Isse, a trader.
All the interviewed praised those Somali government officials who refused to use foreign passports and returned the day after to Mogadishu.
“Those who stayed in the airport must be commended because they honoured the flag and our people,” said a diplomat who did not want to be named. “The Government officials who entered Kenya missed a good chance to embarrass Kenya to the rest of the world because they were attending international conferences there. It is sad.”
All interviewed felt the Somali government statement released this week was weak and too late. All agreed that Somalia should have taken reciprocal action against Kenyans coming to Somalia for well paid jobs. The statement by Kenyan Foreign Minister that people should not travel without visas increased interviewees anger.
“The Somali government statement looked like it was moaning. It did not stand up for the country or people. Standing for your dignity will not hurt the case of the sea like this Government thinks,” said a Somali working in Kenya who fears for his business investments. “The statement gave us no comfort and we cannot move back to Somalia quickly and the Kenyans are becoming too hostile.”
Interviewees suspected that many Somali politicians have foreign passports and homes in Kenya so because if this were been too soft in their response.
“Most of our Ministers are Diaspora and their families live in Kenya. This is a conflict of interest. If they are serious about standing up to Kenya they need to get rid of their foreign passports and stop shaming Somalia,” said a Somali immigration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “Somali people must value their country and passport otherwise go back to where they lived with their foreign passports.”
Despite the public outrage and outcry to sack the Somali government officials who entered Kenya with a foreign passport, there has been no response from Villa Somalia and Office of the Prime Minister yet.