Nairobi, KENYA: Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu skipped President Uhuru’s inauguration at Kasarani on Tuesday despite having been invited and confirming his attendance.
According to Israel media, concerns over the Prime Minister’s security at the event prompted him not to attend.
The Haaretz reported that there were concerns for Netanyahu’s safety while inside the Moi International Stadium that was packed to capacity, casting doubt on his attendance of the event.
The Israel Times, on the other hand, reported that he was cautioned against attending the event due to the “massive crowd” attending the inauguration.
“The Shin Bet Security Service has therefore not green-lighted for Netanyahu to appear at Nairobi’s Kasarani Stadium out of concern for his safety,” The Israel Times reported.
Earlier, police had to fire tear gas to to control crowds trying to force their way into the stadium causing a stampede.
Also, in Jacaranda Officers in full anti-riot gear on Tuesday were reported to have thrown teargas everywhere including residential areas as they engaged NASA supporters who tried to access Jacaranda Grounds in Embakasi, Nairobi.
Netanyahu is scheduled to attend President Kenyatta’s party after the inauguration at State House Nairobi where he will address African leaders at the event and later on hold bilateral talks with some of them before flying out in the evening.
Among the presidents who graced the ceremony included: Presidents Ismaïl Omar Guelleh Muhammed (Djibouti), Ali Bongo Ondimba (Gabon), Hage Geingob (Namibia), Abdullahi Farmajo (Somalia), Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Yoweri Museveni (Uganda), Edgar Lungu (Zambia), Ian Khama (Botswana), Salva Kiir Mayardit (South Sudan), I and Guinea’s Prime Minister Mamady Youla.