Kenya concerned with treatment of African delegation in Poland

Foreign and Diaspora Affairs CS Alfred Mutua. [Elvis Ogina, Standard]

Kenya has expressed concern with the treatment of the South African presidential security team and media in Poland.

A plane carrying South African security personnel and a media team accompanying President Cyril Ramaphosa to Ukraine was held up in Poland for more than 24 hours.

The stand-off happened at Chopin Airport in Warsaw, Poland.

About 120 people who were on their way to the peace summit in Ukraine were stuck on the plane.

In a tweet on Saturday, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua said that he had reached out to his counterpart in South Africa to understand the situation and that there was no cause for alarm.

"I have spoken to my colleague, South Africa Foreign Affairs Minister Naledi Pandor, about the incident involving President Ramaphosa's security in Poland. She has informed me it has been sorted. I have assured her of our support and congratulated South Africa for the peace initiative," Mutua tweeted on Saturday, June 17.

Foreign Affairs Principal Secretary Koris Sing'oei also raised concern with Poland's actions saying: "We strongly deplore the serious breaches of diplomatic protocols by Poland in the treatment of South Africa's delegation led by President Cyril Ramaphosa en route to Kyiv on a peace mission. History must record this as the worst treatment of a Head of State of any country ever."

On Friday, Ramaphosa's head of security General Wally Rhoode accused Polish authorities of racism and exposing their president after his men were blocked on arrival at Chopin airport.

However, the Polish government dismissed the claims stating that some people aboard the plane did not have weapons permits and were therefore not allowed to disembark.

The plane with 120 people on board including South African security forces and journalists had left Pretoria in South Africa and was expected to land in Kyiv, Ukraine where Ramaphosa has joined other African leaders in a peace mediation mission.

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