At least 1,300 Kenyans are being held in foreign countries, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretary Monica Juma has said.
Of the 1,300, 79 are in neighbouring Tanzania, 47 in Uganda, and 15 are in Ethiopia.
“We have negotiated a number of extradition treaties, but these take time,” Dr Juma told journalists at a media briefing in Nairobi.
Some 478 Kenyans have been sentenced and are serving terms, majority of them serving life imprisonments. About 80 of them are serving time in China, and others are spread in the Far East, Malaysia, Thailand, and West Africa.
Kenya is holding 2,000 foreigners in its prisons, she said.
Dr Juma said that Kenya was working to ensure that those jailed in foreign lands are treated humanely, and have access to legal and consular services.
“If any Kenyan is arrested, and or jailed, before we are informed, we will and have protested because it is against international law,” she said.
“Our policy is not to interfere with the legal process of a sovereign nation, but we try as much as possible to ensure that they have consular support, and retain right to visitation,” said Washington Oloo, director of diaspora and consular services in the ministry.
Dr Juma, however, asked Kenyans in the diaspora to follow laws in foreign nations.
“When you go out there, please understand the jurisdictions you are in, and respect the law. Do not go there and do things we do here, if they are not allowed there,” Dr Juma said.