Kenya suspended a visa-free transit agreement with Pakistan on Wednesday after social media sites showed videos of crowds of Pakistani nationals crowding residential areas across the Kenyan capital Nairobi.
The Interior Ministry ordered a crackdown on illegal Pakistani immigrants, saying there has been an influx of Asian foreigners who at first were thought to be Afghan refugees.
Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho ordered police working with the immigration services to crack down on illegal foreigners.
“The majority of these travellers have originated from Pakistan and have valid transit visas to Saudi Arabia that are issued on arrival,” Kibicho said in a statement. “Going forward, the government will restrict the number of foreigners transiting through the country to levels that do not pose a risk to Kenya’s national interest.”
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Kenya’s Citizen Digital reported that in a letter to the High Commission of Pakistan, Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry said: “the Government of Kenya regrets that some of these passengers are taking advantage of Kenya’s status with these countries with regard to the COVID-19 quarantine regulations.
This threatens to undermine Kenya’s agreements with these countries which are put in place to ensure continuation of business and travel operations between our countries.”
“Till further notice, Kenya will require visas for passengers from Pakistan to Kenya,” it added.