|Home | Contact us | Links | Archives|
|Hotel Throws Out Somali Delegates|
Nairobi, May 15, 2004 (East African Standard) – Somali peace talks were yesterday plunged into crisis after 150 delegates were expelled from the 680 Hotel in Nairobi, over failure to pay bills amounting to Sh100 million.
The delegates, who were given up to 10 am to leave the hotel, were stranded in the lobby at the expiry of the deadline.
Their hosts, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Secretariat officials, were locked in a meeting to save the situation.
The delegates, who have lived at the hotel for over a year, threatened to abandon the talks and return home.
They called on IGAD to pay their hotel bills and stop operating like "rogue hosts."
"They did it (non payment of bills) in Eldoret- Sirikwa Hotel. Now they want to do it at 680 Hotel. We are aware that donors have met their obligations," said Abdul Latif, who represents the civil society.
According to the Hotel’s General Manager Timothy Njaga, IGAD owes them US$1,160,733m.
Njaga said they hosted between 150- 160 delegates at once. He showed us correspondence between IGAD and themselves dating back to February 16, 2003.
"Every month we draw contracts with IGAD. We invoice them weekly and they would pay for a few people. Suddenly, they stopped payments," said Njaga.
Njaga said peace process co-ordinator, Wario Hukka, had declined to respond to the many correspondence from the hotel.
" He was threatening to move them to other hotels. However, he has not addressed the problem that makes them move from one hotel to the other, which is non payment of bills," said Njaga.
In a letter to Wario, Njaga States: "Hotel management has declined to take verbal promises of settlement and maintain that we still require all delegates to vacate by 10am on Friday."