Kenya's Foreign Minister evacuated from MaliBy NATION Writer | Sunday, March 25 2012 at 12:37
Kenya's Foreign Affairs Minister Moses Wetangula has been evacuated from troubled Malian capital Bamako and flown to Lagos, Nigeria.
The Minister was expected back in Nairobi on Sunday evening.
A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Nairobi said the Minister was evacuated on Saturday night.
"The Minister for Foreign Affairs was last (Saturday) night safely evacuated from Bamako, Mali. The Government successfully managed to charter a flight to evacuate the Minister after securing clearance from the Mali military authority in charge," the statement said.
"The Government officials accompanying the Minister and two other Kenyans were also evacuated on the nine-seater chartered flight. The Government also chartered another flight from Dakar, Senegal, to evacuate the remaining Kenyans and we are still waiting for details from Dakar.
"The Minister is expected in Nairobi later this (Sunday) evening on a Kenya Airways flight from Lagos. The Government assures Kenyans that all effort is being made to safely evacuate any other Kenyan stranded in Mali."
Others evacuated alongside the minister were Zimbabwe's Foreign Minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi and five officers from Kenya's Foreign Affairs who had travelled with Mr Wetangula to Mali.
Mr Wetangula's evacuation follows a setback on Saturday after a chartered flight declined to fly them out.
The Kenyan Government had managed to charter a flight from an airline company in Nigeria on Saturday to fly in and evacuate the group after securing clearance for evacuation from the Mali military. (READ: Mission to evacuate Wetang'ula fails)
The airline, however, declined to fly out, saying they had been informed by the control tower in Mali that the airspace was not safe.
The development came hours after the minister gave up a seat on a United Nations plane on Friday night, instead offering it to countryman Boniface Kaberia who was also stranded in the west African country.
Mr Kaberia arrived at the JKIA on Sunday at 6.00am.
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