East AfricaKenya Suspends Flights to and From Somalia

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The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority has suspended all flights to and from Somalia. In a notice issued to airmen on Tuesday, the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority said it had suspended all flights to and from Somalia with immediate effect.

“All flights between Kenya and Somalia are suspended except medevac flights and UN humanitarian flights,” the notice read.

The aviation authority did not give any reason for the suspension. However, the Aviation Authority Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe said it was an order they are implementing, and he would not disclose details of who gave the orders and why.

This comes just days after Qatar brokered a deal that saw Mogadishu and Nairobi restore their diplomatic relations.

Somalia’s cargo and travel industries welcomed the resumption of diplomatic ties with Kenya after a five-month freeze that damaged bilateral trade.

Speaking to the media in Mogadishu, Somalia’s minister for foreign affairs and international cooperation, Mohamed Abdirizack, said Nairobi has agreed not to interfere in the domestic affairs as a condition adding that the foreign policy of Somalia does not tolerate domestic affairs interference.

President Mohamed Farmaajo’s spokesperson Abdirashid Hashi said the resumption of the diplomatic ties was in the interest of the two countries and based on mutual benefit and respect.

“In the interest of good neighbourliness, Federal Government of Somalia resumes Diplomatic ties with Kenya based on mutual benefit and respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, non-external interference, peaceful co-existence and equality,” Abdirashid Hashi

Abdirashid Hashi said President Farmaajo and his counterpart Uhuru Kenyatta were grateful to the Emir of Qatar for his intervention which saw the two agree.

The diplomatic dispute between the two countries has greatly affected Somalia’s travel, tourism and cargo sector, with flights to and from the country declining from seven flights a week to two flights or none at all.

Read also; World Bank Appoints New Country Director for Kenya, Rwanda, Somalia and Uganda.

 

 

 

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