A senior Somali diplomat in Nairobi has refuted Kenyan claims that Somalis was recruiting Somalis in Kenya to fight first against Ethiopia and later in hostilities against Kenya.
CU: Newspaper headlines reading "Somali War Plot in Kenya" and "Somali Bid To Recruit Kenyans"
CU: Somalian Embassy Counsellor Mr. Dahir Hussien Dirir speaking at Press Conference. (THREE SHOTS)
DIPLOMAT: "My President said several times that Somalia will not attack Kenya, and, therefore, my Government's policy is to be always friendship with Kenya; that's my Government's policy. The Ethiopians are now trying to create misunderstanding between Kenya and Somalia, using some needy elements of Somalis, and according to the newspapers, as Somalis it is very easy for him to cross to the border, (INDISTINCT), without asking for passport. If he wants to go there he can easily go from here direct, if he wants. These men came to us here in this embassy asking us for, because, you see, my mother is blind, I am the only son who support my family, I want to go to Arab countries, so that is that's why we always put in our laissez passer Arab countries, because this man has said I will seek some work from my parents, and we trusted him"
REPORTER: "Do you now say categorically that you will no longer issue Somali passports Kenyans here in Nairobi? For Somalis here in Nairobi?"
DIPLOMAT: "Well, before it was...something which is creating between Kenya and Somalia misunderstanding, we will try to avoid it as much as we can. So why should we create misunderstanding between Kenya and Somalia?"
REPORTER: "This gentleman that was featured in the papers did not mention Ethiopians anywhere, I mean, he spoke for himself."
REPORTER: "I mean the gentleman in the papers today spoke on his won behalf. Nowhere does he mention the complicity of the Ethiopian Government or anything of that nature. Now, how do you explain that?"
DIPLOMAT: "Well, this is up to him. What I am explaining to you,...I am sure of what I am explaining to you. I am 100 per cent sure of this, that Somalia will not attack Kenya."
Form 1962 until 1967 Kenya fought a "shifta" (bandit) was against Somali guerrillas in its north-eastern province, whose inhabitants are mostly ethnic Somalis.
On Saturday (15 October), Kenyan vice-President Daniel Arap Moi announced that all ethnic Somalis who are citizens of Kenya will have to register with the authorities, and those who have sympathies with Somalis will be expelled.
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Background: A senior Somali diplomat in Nairobi has refuted Kenyan claims that Somalis was recruiting Somalis in Kenya to fight first against Ethiopia and later in hostilities against Kenya. Mr. Dahir Hussein Dirir, a counsellor at the Somali Embassy in Nairobi, called the news conference following newspaper reports quoting a Kenyan police official that more than 100 Kenyan Somalis had already left the country after being given Somali travel documents.
The stories appeared in two Nairobi newspapers...but Somali officials said passports had been issued only on humanitarian grounds.