President Obamas plane (Air force 1) touched down in Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport just after 8pm East African time on Friday 24th 2015 making the start of a weekend visit. The airports domestic terminal was shut down for the arrival and patrolled by the US Marines, CIA and secret service agents and Kenyan soldiers.
Obama was welcomed by the Kenyan president Uhuru Kenyatta and other senior government officials before he was driven away in his armed motorcade towards the United States of America embassy in the Gigiri District of the capital. He is the first sitting US president to visit Kenya. President Obamas half-sister Auma also went to welcome him and travel in the bespoke, bomb-proof presidential limousine, nicknamed “the beast”. Thongs of Kenyans lined the route of convoy, cheering, whistling and waving as Obama motorcade passed by and a helicopter circled over.
Obama, whose homeland is Kenya is expected to hold talks with President Uhuru Kenyatta to discuss the terrorist issue in the country, security, trade and democracy and human rights. He is also expected to address the Global Entrepreneurship summit.
Many Kenyans view this trip as a homecoming for the US president who is now serving his second term in the office.
Mr. Obama is also expected to pay tribute to the victims and survivors of the 1998 US embassy bombing.
The airspace was closed 50 minutes before he arrives, and will be closed 40 minutes after his departure. Parts of the Kenya’s capital Nairobi was also closed down during the president arrival and will be closed. By Friday Afternoon, usually the busiest time, roads were empty. Expectant crowds begun to gather along the route that was going to be used by the presidential convoy.
At least 10,000police officers were deployed in the capital. Top of the list of security concerns was the Al-Shabaab militants. Armed U.S secret Service agents and snipers were also in place near the Jomo Kenyatta international Airport.
Excitement has been building in Kenya for weeks, with the visit painted as a major boost for the country’s position as an African hub.