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Nairobi faults Dar ‘hostile’ trade actions

A goods truck crosses into Tanzania from Kenya at the Namanga border. FILE PHOTO | NMG
A goods truck crosses into Tanzania from Kenya at the Namanga border. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Kenya has formally protested to Tanzania over what Nairobi terms as “a policy shift that condones hostile actions against Kenyan citizens and their business interests.”

On Monday, Foreign Affairs Political and Diplomatic Secretary Tom Amollo criticised Dar es Salaam’s decision to burn chicks imported from Kenya as well as auctioning of animals from Kenyan herders, without involving authorities in Nairobi, saying such actions risk soiling historical relations between the countries.

The move followed the summoning of Tanzanian High Commissioner to Kenya, Dr Pindi Hazara Chana, by Kenyan officials to protest what they called Tanzania’s unilateral actions on issues affecting the two countries.  

“Kenya/Tanzania relations are longstanding, rich and complex and should not be jeopardised by a hardening of positions over minor issues that can be easily resolved through candid and open dialogue,” Mr Amollo told the Tanzanian envoy during a lengthy meeting in Nairobi.

“There may be need to urgently convene the Kenya/Tanzania Joint Border Commissioners/Administrators Committee Meeting, (Ujirani Mwema), to address emerging cross borders issues.”

Kenya’s latest complaint results from the move last week when the Tanzanian Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries burnt to death 6,400 chicks imported from Kenya, ostensibly to prevent the spread of bird flu.

Nairobi complained the decision had been unilateral especially since no case of the bird flu had been reported within Kenya’s borders.

While Tanzania argued that the importation of the chicks was not supported by paperwork, the move to burn them only added fuel to simmering diplomatic feud between these countries.

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