Kenya cracks down on illegal Pakistan immigrants
A viral video of police surrounding an apartment block on Waiyaki Way has sparked a flurry of comments online.
In the video, dozens of police are seen surrounding the Waiyaki Real Gardens building with reports that close to 300 Pakistanis on transit to Saudi Arabia have been arrested and being deported.
A surge in transits from Pakistan to Saudi Arabia has triggered a crackdown 0n foreigners staying illegally in Kenya.
The men who walk in groups have been conspicuous with flowing robes are scattered in Ongata Rongai, Buru-Buru, Syokimau and some parts of Kasarani.
A statement from the Ministry of Interior and Coordination of National Government said there was a surge in the transits in the past four months.
“Majority of these travellers have originated from Pakistan and have valid transit visas to Saudi Arabia that are issued on arrival,” said Karanja Kibicho, Principal Secretary for Interior and Citizen Services.
Kibicho said the government was alarmed by the threat of COVID-19 pandemic posed by the influx of foreigners transiting through the country.
At the city centre, they have been spotted along River Road, Luthuli and some areas with cheap accommodations in downtown areas where they have booked rooms and spend evenings strolling around the city.
“Subsequently, the government has ordered an immediate crackdown on foreigners who are in the country illegally,” he said, “The exercise will be undertaken by the Department of Immigration and the National Police Service.”
The Kenyan government has suspended an agreement that allowed visa-free entry for passengers travelling into the country from Pakistan.
This follows the recent spike in the number of persons travelling from Pakistan enroute to Saudi Arabia and other destinations, transiting through Kenya.