Fire Closes Kenya’s International Airport In Nairobi

A fire engulfed Kenya’s main airport on Wednesday, choking a vital travel and trade gateway to east Africa, witnesses and officials said.

Firefighters struggled to contain the blaze at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi, the region’s busiest, that started early in the morning in the immigration section of the departure lounge and spread to the international arrivals area, officials said.

Huge plumes of black smoke billowed from the airport buildings, but there were no immediate reports of casualties.

The cause of the fire was not yet known.

“We are still fighting to contain the fire. Investigations will start immediately after,” Michael Kamau, cabinet secretary for transport, told reporters at the airport.

“The fire started at a very central part of the airport and this made access difficult. But we have closed the airport indefinitely as we try to contain the fire.”

Hundreds of passengers were stranded outside the airport, which was cordoned off to keep the public out.

“People should not come to the airport while this work is ongoing. No casualties have been reported and the fire fighters are doing a good job. Safety is paramount,” Cabinet Secretary for the Interior Joseph ole Lenku said, adding that security had been heightened at the airport after the fire started.

The fire comes less than 48 hours after a fuel jet pump failure caused huge delays at the airport.

Kenya Airways’, one of the leading airlines in the region which uses the airport as its main hub, said on its Twitter feed that it was diverting flights to Kenya’s port city of Mombasa and that transit passengers were being taken to hotels.

Other airlines are expected to divert flights to Mombasa and to neighboring countries including in Uganda, Tanzania and Rwanda.

ICC-Charged Kenyatta Expected To Join Somalia Meeting In London

Kenya’s newly elected President Uhuru Kenyatta, who faces international charges of crimes against humanity, is expected to attend a Somalia conference next week in London at the invitation of the British government, sources said on Friday.

Britain’s high commissioner (ambassador) to Kenya, Christian Turner, extended the invitation to Kenyatta, who is due to stand trial at the International Criminal Court in The Hague, during a meeting with the new president this week.

A source with knowledge of the president’s affairs told Reuters that Kenyatta was planning to travel for Tuesday’s conference that aims to build support for Somalia. A diplomat also said: “The expectation is that he will go.”

Nigeria is now home – Prezzo

He has been seen at a number of social events in Lagos with Nigeria’s Pop Princess Goldie Harvey, but Kenyan rapper and second runner-up at the last Big Brother Africa Star Game, Prezzo has revealed plans to settle in Nigeria and build a career in the nation’s fledgling entertainment industry.

The Kenya trained and certified pilot turned rapper stated on Channels TV Sunrise that “my purpose of visiting Nigeria is to broaden my musical career and work with a couple of producers here.”

“Nigeria will be my second home from now on and I don’t want to feel like a tourist when I come to Nigeria, so Nigeria will be home” he stated, adding that “fufu and Eba makes one live longer and stronger” as he showed his reverence for Nigerian local meals.

On which city in Nigeria he will be settling, the Kenyan artiste who also sings in Swahili said “most definitely in Lagos. I think Lagos is a beautiful place.”

“I just love the aggression of the people out there. I love the hustle” he stated about the daily struggle of residents in Nigeria’s most populous city.

According to him “Nigeria is the leader of Africa’s music industry and for me to achieve my goal, I have to JFK” he said, defining JFK as – “Joining Forces with the Kings”.

“So I have come to join forces with my Nigerian brothers and sisters” he added.

“I love the positive energy in Nigeria and I feel it is the kind of positive energy I want to be part of.”

When asked who his choice producers in Nigeria are, Prezzo replied “I am very inspired by the Nigerian music industry as a whole. It is a big industry and I am willing to work with anybody. I don’t need to use anybody as a stepping stone.”

The musician also revealed plans to make a foray into Nollywood.

Prezzo is expected to drop a single, on Monday ahead of his forthcoming album.

When questioned on his famous relationship with Goldie, with whom he has being seen at various events in Nigeria and abroad in recent weeks, Prezzo cheerfully grinned saying “Goldie is busy. I have seen her just once since my arrival. ”

“She’s been very busy” he stated, adding that “Goldie is a beautifully person, both inside and outside.”

Prezzo had a stormy relationship with the Nigerian participant in the Big Brother Africa House and that they have both evolved to be great friends since the reality show ended.

PART 2

Kenyan police arrest two Iranians over explosives

Kenyan police said on Friday they had arrested two Iranians after they seized chemicals they suspected were going to be used to make explosives in Mombasa, which has been hit by a series of attacks.

The port city, the capital Nairobi and other parts of Kenya have suffered a series of grenade attacks since Kenya sent troops into Somalia last year to try to crush al Shabaab insurgents it blames for a surge in violence and kidnappings threatening tourism in east Africa’s biggest economy.

Police arrested the Iranians on Wednesday in Nairobi. On the same day, police impounded a container in Mombasa originating from Iraq and suspected to be carrying explosives.

On Thursday, police flew one of the suspects to Mombasa, where he led police to recover 15 kg of powder, which security experts took to their laboratory for testing.

“They are cooperating well. They are giving us key information that might help us reduce terrorist attacks in the country,” Ambrose Munyasia, a senior police officer at the Coast region told Reuters.

“We want to find out whether these substances are linked to any terror groups, including al Shabaab, al Qaeda and any other group,” Aggrey Adoli, Coast provincial police officer, added.

Francis Kimemia, Kenya’s acting head of civil service who was in Mombasa, said the government had sought the help of international agencies such the FBI and Interpol in helping deal with security threats.

“We have been working with them in terms of identifying criminals. We cannot fight terrorism alone. You have to work with other partners and other state organs,” he said.

In the most recent attack, a bomb exploded in a trading center in the heart of Nairobi in late May, wounding more than 30 people. One person later died from their injuries.

Gunmen also detonated grenades outside a nightclub in Mombasa in May, killing one person and wounding several others.

Al Shabaab seeks to impose a strict version of sharia, Islamic law. The group emerged as a force in 2006 as part of a movement that pushed U.S.-backed warlords out of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

At present it also has hundreds of foreign fighters in its ranks.