Kenyan officials haven’t given a presidential protocol to the visiting Somali President Hassan Sheik Mahmoud who is on an official tour to Nairobi where IGAD heads of state are meeting to try to ease the politically-motivated clan-based armed conflicts raging in South Sudan.
As usual presidents of state are received at airports by either of their counterparts, prime ministers or parliament speakers while visiting a foreign country, but the Somali president lacked the reception by neither of the high profile officials upon arrival at Jomo Kenyatta international airport on Thursday.
Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta is currently on a peace mission tour to South Sudan, but since Kenyatta is not at home it was necessary that the Nairobi government arranged a presidential protocol for the Somali leader who could have been received at airport by Kenyan parliament speaker or his deputy at the lowest, instead of sending security officers to safeguard the president and his delegation.
President Hassan Sheik Mahmoud of Somalia was welcomed at Jomo Kenyatta airport by Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya Mohamed Ali Nur, IGAD envoy to Somalia Mohamed Abdi Affey and members of the Somali community in Kenya.
Political analysts believe that with the low profile reception at airport, Kenya seems to have intentionally downgraded Somali president whose tour is mainly about negotiating peace between the government of South Sudan and rebels fighting it.