Tanzania warns ambassadors after US terror alert warning Kipchumba Murkomen

Dar es Salaam. – Tanzania’s foreign affairs minister summoned diplomatic corps on Monday to remind them to stick to the international standard of protocol after the US embassy issued a terror alert that caused confusion in Kenya and Tanzania over the weekend.

Through the alert, the embassy advised would-be travellers from the US and Europe that locations they frequented in Dar es Salaam and elsewhere in Tanzania were attractive targets for terrorists. The embassy hinted that attacks occurred with little or no warning and that tourists should be extra careful.

Tanzania tried to allay fears, but the damage had already been done.

Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) issued a statement announcing the disruption of its services. Initially the notice listed Kenya and Tanzania as targets, but Kenya was later removed.

The airline was forced to withdraw its statement after Kenyan cabinet secretary, Kipchumba Murkomen, expressed his displeasure at the “fabricated, malicious and false allegations without fact-checking and considering the probable effects to our country’s image and economy”.

Murkomen vowed to take up the matter through diplomatic channels to avoid a similar occurrence in the future.

The damage was worse in Tanzania, which remained on the airline’s notice.

In her meeting with embassies in the capital city, Dodoma, on Monday, foreign affairs minister Stergomena Tax explicitly spoke about Tanzania’s disappointment.

She told representatives of embassies to “observe diplomatic communication channels as stipulated by the Vienna Convention when sharing information with the public to avoid creating unnecessary tension within and outside the country”. She also warned foreign embassies about issuing direct messages, such as security alerts, to the public without clearance from the government. – News24.com


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