In the latest show that proves tension between Kenya and Somalia hasn’t thawed, KAA has suspended flights to and from Somalia.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, in a Notice to Airmen (Notam), stated that flights coming in and going to Somalia wouldn’t be allowed for three months.
However, the aviation regulator said it would only allow medical evacuation and humanitarian deliveries flights into the country.
Although the authority didn’t disclose reasons, it stated the government gave a security directive to restrict air traffic between the neighbouring countries.
The move means scheduled and chartered flights to Somalia will cease operations for the given period.
However, Kenya will exempt planes passing through its airspace to another destination.
The announcement came when Somalia’s Head of State Mohamed Farmaajo, was flying over Kenya to witness the inauguration of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of Uganda.
KCAA has also exempted military flights, which are not within its jurisdiction. Kenya’s decision dents the latest move to restore harmony between the two countries.
Mutlaq bin Majed al-Qahani last week helped broker the resumption of a good relationship between Somalia and Kenya.
This was after Mogadishu stated it would reopen the diplomatic channels it shut down in December after Kenya allegedly interfered with its plans.
However, Somalia officials announced the move won’t lift the ban on Miraa trade, nor include discussions regarding the maritime boundary dispute, which is currently awaiting a verdict at the International Court of Justice.
Somalia has additionally not stated when its ambassador will resume duties in Nairobi. Kenya’s Lucas Tambo returned home, while Mr Mohamud Nur Tarsan was recalled to Mogadishu after cutting ties with Nairobi last year.
Suspension of flights
It’s not the first time both Mogadishu and Kenya have suspended flights. Following the fall of the Siad Barre’s regime, Kenya’s second President Daniel Moi suspended flights and closed borders.
However, a petition from humanitarian agencies allowed a unique corridor for delivering aid. In later years, Kenya suspended flights to and from Somalia because of security concerns.
In 2019, a meeting between the two countries saw the move lifted after Mogadishu promised to intensify security checks for all passengers leaving the country.