US Secret Service agents clash with Presidential security guards at State House
Updated 11 hr(s) 59 min(s) ago
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By Martin Mutua
Presidential guards at State House, Nairobi clashed with Secret Service agents prior to US Vice-President Joe Biden’s arrival for a meeting with President Kibaki.
Impeccable sources told The Standard the presidential guards battled with two Secret Service agents who attempted to enter State House armed, contrary to standard security practice.
Even bodyguards of Cabinet ministers deposit their firearms at the entrance and collect them once they leave with their bosses.
State House is under the protection and surveillance of the elite Recce security team from the para-military General Service Unit. Recce officers are assigned to guard the President, Prime Minister, the Vice-President, and other visiting dignitaries.
Sources said the two Secret Service agents had showed up with members of the international press team that is accompanying Biden and on being frisked they were found in possession of the arms.
“They identified themselves as Secret Service agents but they were told it was standard practice nobody enters State House with guns,” added our sources.
They were then ordered to deposit their firearms with the guards who assured them the guns would be returned to them upon leaving.
The Secret Service agents are said to have argued that their job was to protect the US Vice-President and declined to surrender their arms.
“But the presidential guards told them their work was to protect the President of Kenya and therefore anybody who enters State House was safe and under their protection,” added the sources.
A brief stand off ensued but the presidential guards stood their ground and disarmed the two.
However, following consultations with top security officials, the two, one of them of Chinese descent, were given back their guns and they continued with their work.
Later Biden arrived in a convoy of seven cars, two of them armoured, and donning two flags each one of the US and another for Biden.
The two four wheel vehicles which seem to have marvelled the Kenyan team, including President Kibaki, were all inscribed with the insignia of the Vice-President of the United States on both sides of the rear doors