Kenya Yields to Tanzania's Demands in Diplomatic Row

  • President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    President Uhuru Kenyatta (left) and Tanzania President Pombe Magufuli (right) enjoy a light moment after the former visited the later in Tanzania in July 2019
    PSCU
  • Update: Wednesday, September 16: Tanzania lifted the ban on Kenya's local and international flights after kenya included her to the list of foreign nationals exempted from the mandatory 14-day Covid-19 quarantine upon arrival in Kenya. 

    The Tanzania Civil Aviation Authority (TCAA) stated that it has lifted the suspension of all Kenyan operators including Kenya Airways, Fly 540 Limited, SafariLink Aviation and AirKenya Express Limited.

    “This is to confirm that the Government of the Republic of Kenya through a circular issued by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) on September 15 removed the requirement of 14 days mandatory quarantine for all arriving passengers from the United Republic of Tanzania,” noted TCAA.

    “The resumption and restoration of flights for all Kenyan operators is with immediate effect and the KCAA has been informed accordingly," a statement by TCAA read. 


    Kenya has finally added Tanzanian citizens to the list of foreign nationals exempted from the mandatory 14-day Covid-19 quarantine upon arrival in Kenya.

    Following the Tuesday, September 15, announcement, Tanzania joins 146 other nations whose citizens will now be allowed to travel to Kenya without having to undergo mandatory quarantine, a preventative measure against a resurgence of imported Covid-19 cases.

    This follows a simmering diplomatic tiff between the neighbouring countries that saw Tanzania retaliate against Kenya's decision to exclude it's citizens from the list owing to suspicions over the efficacy of Tanzania's Covid-19 containment measures.

    Earlier in the day, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director General Gilbert Kibe, revealed that Tanzania had turned down Kenya's efforts to end the diplomatic row between the 2 nations.

    Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) International Arrival Terminal. Thursday, February 14, 2020
    Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) International Arrival Terminal. Thursday, February 14, 2020.
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke

    The East African nation was swift in banning all Kenyan airlines from flying into the country following the decision, opening up the market for competitors such as RwandAir. 

    Other African nations on the list are: Botswana, Burundi, Cameroon, Djibouti, Egypt, Eritrea, Gambia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, New Guinea, Rwanda, Senegal, Sierra Leone, South Africa, South Sudan, Tunisia, Uganda,  and Zambia.

    Notably, Tanzania, Sierra Leone, Ghana and Nigeria, were not included in the last list which was released on August 19.

    At the time, the list included 130 countries including all East African countries with the exception of Tanzania.

    The latest announcement is in line with Kenya's move to ease restrictions and containment measures that had been put in place to curb the spread of the Coronavirus.

    Amid mounting pressure  to kick-start the country's ailing economy, President Kenyatta announced the resumption of international flights from August 1.

    He, however, extended the current nationwide curfew between 9 p.m. and 4 a.m. for a further 30 days and warned he would not hesitate to "revert to lockdown" if the situation worsened.

    The country has recorded a sharp decline in Covid-19 cases over the last month.

    On September 14, the Ministry of Health (MoH) reported 48 Covid-19 cases from 1,081 samples tested within a period of 24 hours, marking the lowest 24-hour caseload recorded in recent months.

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    Health CAS Mercy Mwagangi issuing an update on coronavirus at Mbagathi Hospital on Saturday, March 14, 2020
    Simon Kiragu
    Kenyans.co.ke