Hours after blocking Somalia top government officials at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, authorities in Nairobi closed down five Hawalas on Tuesday belonging to Somalia nationals.
Hawala is a system of transferring money from one country to another without actually making movement. It has been traditionally used in Middle East and Asian countries. It has been used among Somalia nationals in Nairobi.
BREAKING Kenya police have closed 5 Hawala operated by Somalis,. The move comes hours after Somalia Minister and MPs were denied visas despite holding diplomatic passports. Among those closed Hawala includes TAAJ, AMAL #Somalia pic.twitter.com/vsqb7zggPZ
— Radio Dalsan (@DalsanFM) May 21, 2019
Previously, police have accused Hawala agents of being used by terrorists for money laundering. There were attempts to closed down Hawala outlets in 2016 when the country experienced attacks from Al-Shabaab militants.
Kenya’s relationship with Somalia has hit a bottom low with reports indicating that a government minister and two MPs were blocked from entering Kenya on Monday.
Those denied entry are junior Minister of Water and Energy Osman Libah and legislators Ilyas Ali Hassan and Zamzam Dahir.
“The Kenyan authorities at the airport informed these guys that such plan has changed, and now everyone has to obtain visa from Kenya’s Mission in Mogadishu,” a senior Somali official in the delegation, but who travelled on a foreign passport, told the Nation on Monday night.
“The officials learnt this change upon arrival as there was no prior communication regarding this.”
This comes barely a week after Kenya Civil Aviation Authority directed flights from Mogadishu to stop over in Wajir for security checks before proceeding to any other airport in Kenya. KCAA boss Gilbert Kibe said that the move was for security reasons despite protests from Mogadishu.
In February, Kenya temporarily recalled her envoy to Somalia over maritime border row. The two countries will return to the Hague for hearing of the case at International Court of Justice in September.