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Differences Over Influx of Somalis


The East African Standard (Nairobi)

Two security organs at the Wilson Airport in Nairobi are locked in a controversy over a new wave of inflow of aliens from Somalia into the country.

The Immigration Department is reportedly in support of the continuous coming of the aliens while police are opposed to it.

Police are concerned with the number of foreigners who arrive daily from Somali on board flights that deliver miraa (khat) there.

They are accusing the immigration officials of corruption in allowing the foreigners into the country without taking into consideration of the required measures. Sources revealed that over 300 Somalis use the airport to get into the country monthly.

"We know that between 10 and 15 people use the airport to come in daily but they do not go back as they are supposed to," said an officer. The misunderstanding came out to the open yesterday when police attempted to detain a group that had arrived only to be told to let them free

After the officers sought to know why the visitors had come the immigration officials allegedly called their bosses who intervened to let them in. They were not even allowed to search the aliens' luggage. But a senior immigration officer at the airport, they have powers to allow aliens who have genuine reasons for visiting.

The aliens according to sources claim to be coming for medical attention, business among other issues but they do not go back.

Immigration officers are supposed to retain their traveling documents until the time the passengers go back to their country.

Sources revealed that a number of the documents have been lying at the offices uncollected after the travelers failed to turn up.

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