Strike causes chaos at Kenya airport
Thousands of passengers are stranded at the four main airports in Kenya after a strike by workers forced the disruption of domestic and international flights.
About 60 flights failed to take-off at their scheduled time from Nairobi’s Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, the busiest in East Africa. Other planes left without passengers.
The strike began at midnight local time, resulting in the withdrawal of fire engines from the runaway.
Security, check-in and baggage-handling staff also stopped working.
Flights have also been disrupted at airports in the tourist hub of Mombasa, and the cities of Eldoret and Kisumu in western Kenya.
The striking workers are opposed to a plan that would see the loss-making Kenya Airways taking over the management of airports from the profit-making Kenya Airports Authority (KAA).
The workers say the proposed take-over would put their jobs at risk.
‘Tear gas fired’ at Kenya’s main airport
Police have used tear gas and batons to try and disperse striking workers at the main international airport in Kenya’s capital Nairobi, local media reports say.
A key figure in organising the strike, the Kenya Aviation Workers Union secretary-general Moss Ndiema, has also been arrested.
The government has condemned the strike as illegal, and says replacement workers would be brought in to normalise the situation.
The BBC’s Lynne Wachira snapped a photo of a man who was injured in the chaos, which followed police intervention to break up the protest.