By Ebi Kesiena
Kenya has initiated the evacuation of its citizens from Israel following the outbreak of a war 10 days ago.
According to Roseline Njogu, a senior official in charge of diaspora affairs at Kenya’s foreign ministry, the first batch of 11 evacuees are expected to arrive late Wednesday.
Currently, there are more than 500 nationals registered with the Kenyan embassy in Israel, with a significant number of them living in areas that remain safe and unaffected by the ongoing hostilities.
They started on 7 October with an unprecedent assault on Israeli communities near the Gaza Strip by Palestinian Hamas militants. Israel has retaliated with strikes on Gaza and a ground offensive is expected.
At the onset of the conflict, some Kenyan nationals left independently.
However, the country’s East African newspaper has reported that Kenyans in Israel primarily consist of students, individuals on religious pilgrimages, or those undertaking short scientific research programmes.