Nairobi court dismisses lawsuit against Somali embassy

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A court in Kenya’s capital city, Nairobi has dismissed a case against Somali embassy in Nairobi filled by a Kenyan contractor, Kingsley Construction Limited.

Justice Mary Kasango, High Court ruled that embassies cannot be sued on behalf of their respective governments saying diplomatic missions are protected under Article 22 of the Vienna Convention.

“Such premises of a diplomatic mission are inviolable and must not be entered by the host county except with permission from the head of the mission,” said the judge.

The host country must also protect the mission from intrusion or damage and should never search the premises or seize its documents or property.

“Generally, foreign countries are immune from legal action with some exception,” She said.
Although the embassy did not file a response in the case filed by Kingsley Construction Limited, Justice Kasango dismissed the case, saying the firm should have sued the Somali government and not the embassy.

“In my view, the embassy is incapable of suing or being sued. Rather it was open for Kingsley to lodge a suit against the state of the Federal Republic of Somalia, but not its embassy in Kenya,” the judge said.

Kingsley dragged the embassy to court for a renovation works on an old Somali-owned property in Nairobi.

The construction company said it entered into an agreement with the embassy in 2016, for it to refurbish its premises for Sh53.5 million (535,000). Kingsley alleged that the agreement was partly in writing and oral.

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