Jun 22, 2021

Mawazo Writing Africa

Writing about the main

Kenya suspends flights to and from Somalia in fresh row

The suspension came after Mogadishu rejected Kenya’s planned freight deliveries and signaled that relations between the two neighbors could still be sour.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) suspended civil flights between the two countries until August 9th. In a notice to Airmen (Notam), KCAAsaid flights departing or arriving from Somalia will not be allowed for three months.

Only humanitarian supplies and medical evacuation flights are in the country allows, said the aviation authority.

The decision means all chartered and scheduled flights to Somalia are not permitted. However, flights from Somalia that fly through Kenyan airspace to another destination are excluded.

Military flights that do not fall under the jurisdiction of the KCAA are also excluded.

This is not the first time Nairobi or Mogadishu have suspended flights. Immediately after the fall of the Siad Barre regime, Kenya’s then President Daniel Moi suspended flights and closed borders. However, a petition from humanitarian organizations allowed a special corridor for aid deliveries.

In later years, Keny restricted the arrival of flights from Somalia, telling them to land in Wajir first for security checks before going to one fly on to another airport. In a discussion between the two sides, the move was lifted in 2019 after Mogadishu agreed to step up security checks on its departing passengers.

A few months later, Somalia banned Miraa flights from Kenya to Somalia and restricted all other flights to land in Mogadishu before moving to another port. Most of this policy, however, has been ignored by the rebel states.

Somalia’s rejection

On Monday, the KCAA did the Reasons for the suspension not specified, but suggested that the government issued a safety order restricting air travel between the two countries.

KCAA Director General Gilbert Kibe informed the Nation on Monday evening saying that it had received instructions to suspend flights, but declined to give reasons.

“The government has suspended flights,” said he.

But the nation learned that Somalia had rejected a delivery schedule from Kenya’s chartered service provider Bluebird Aviation, which had requested Bluebird that routinely did Freight to Somalia had turned out to be ns relied on Mogadishu’s relationship resumption statement to request permission.

however, sources informed the nation that the Somali Civil Aviation Authority had accepted the request refused because the plane would deliver Neither emergency supplies nor evacuation.

Since Kenya was upset that Somalia was still having its civil aircraft on the ground, it decided to join the same coin.

“This indicates that there is no goodwill to normalize relationships or there is no clarity about what your statement was about”, said a government official familiar with the decision.

Limited Efforts

The Movement seeks to revive relationships between the two countries.

On May 6, Somalia, which broke off diplomatic relations with Kenya in December 2020, announced that it would resume relations” in the interests of good neighbors “.

Abdirashid M Hashi, President Mohamed Farmaajos The spokesman said the decision made after the Qatar mediation means that relations are “based on mutual benefit and respect for sovereignty, territorial Integrity, non-external interference, peaceful coexistence and equality “would be resumed. Relations were resumed after a series of return channels from Qatar, in which Kenya’s Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i was involved as President Uhuru Kenyatta’s special envoy for Somalia.” / p>

Last week Qatari special envoy Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahtani helped mediate the resumption of relations after Mogadishu announced that it would reopen its diplomatic channels, which it closed in December, to protest against Kenya’s alleged interference “> The envoy separately asked the two presidents in Mogadishu and Nairobi to send a special message from Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani and asking the two sides to normalize the relationship that has been resumed. It will not be a question of lifting the ban on trade in Miraa, or of discussing the sea border dispute before the International Court of Justice and waiting for a verdict. < / p>

However, Somalia has not indicated when its ambassador will resume. Mr Mohamud Nur Tarsan was recalled to Mogadishu and Kenya’s Lucas Tumbo returned to Nairobi after Mogadishu cut ties in December. However, Nairobi has not severed ties.

“Mixed signals”

Kenya is upset that Mogadishu didn’t add anything more to the call to resume relations.

Officials in Nairobi say there has been no formal notification, usually through a diplomatic letter known as a “note verbale”, to advise whether or not Kenya’s Ambassador, Maj-Gen (Rtd) Tumbo ‘Should report back.

You also failed to indicate whether Mr Tarsan, Somali Ambassador to Kenya, will report back to his station.

“We don’t know how we got your press release should interpret that supposedly speaks for Kenya too. We are still waiting for the official communication from Mogadishu about whether our ambassador can report and reopen our (embassy) offices and whether we can normalize flights and trade relations, ”the official told the nation last night .

Nairobi says Mogadishu has given mixed signals about the situation.

On Saturday, Information Minister Osman Dubbe insisted that the ban on imports of Kenyan miraa should remain in place regardless of the situation normalized relationships.

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