Kenyans stranded in Lebanon have been told to register with the honorary consulate in Beirut to get travel documents.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nairobi said some 43 Kenyans had registered by Friday and were anticipating more.
Some Kenyans in Lebanon who lost their jobs following the massive explosion in Beirut last week that killed over 200 people and left 300,000 others homeless, have been calling on the Kenyan government to fly them home.
Several videos have surfaced on social media showing Kenyan women protesting outside the Kenyan consulate in Beirut urging the government to bring them home.
Kenya’s Embassy in Kuwait, which is accredited to Lebanon, said the employment and immigration status of the protesters in Beirut is “unknown” and they have to apply for proper papers.
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The embassy said they anticipate some delays in clearance of the exit documents as the military takes over management of essential services from the public service following the extension of the state of emergency in Beirut as a result of the blast.
“The other hiccup in issuance of the Emergency Travel Certificates (ETC) is caused by a group of rowdy Kenyans camping outside the consulate. Efforts by security agents to request them to move out and allow seamless operations have not been successful. The police have therefore asked the honorary consul and his officers to stay away for security reasons,” said a statement from the Kenyan Embassy in Kuwait.
The statement added the paperwork for issuing ETC’s and obtaining clearance from immigration department is expected to take one week from the starting date.
However, Kenyans with valid documents can exit at will as long as they meet the protocols and guidelines set by the East Africa nation and other relevant civil aviation authorities.
The statement added the Consulate is working with some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to provide necessities such as shelter and food for those affected.
“We strongly urge those stranded to cooperate and provide necessary information to fast-track the process of returning to Kenya.”
Some 30 Kenyans from Lebanon came back to Kenya after they were issued with emergency travel documents.
The government said the cost of flights is on those who want to travel back home.
Kenya has no embassy in Lebanon even though it has established diplomatic relations with the country. With the accredited embassy in Kuwait, the government enrolled the services of a local Lebanese lawyer to act as an honorary consul.