Kenya suspends flights from Somalia days after mending democratic ties

Kenya suspends flights from Somalia days after mending democratic ties. [Image: Courtesy]
KENYA— Kenya has suspended its flights to and from Somalia for three months.

Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) has issued a notice to Airmen (Notam) saying flights departing to or arriving from Somalia will not be allowed for three months effective from May 11 to August 9.

KCAA said only humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuation flights will be allowed into the country from Somalia.

The aviation regulator has not explained why the flights have been suspended but instead said the government has issued a directive to restrict air traffic between the two countries.

This means that all scheduled flights to Somalia will be cancelled. Flights from Somalia passing through the Kenyan airspace will be exempted as well as military flights which are not under the jurisdiction of KCAA.

This announcement comes just as Somalia’s president Mohamed Farmaajo was heading to Uganda to attend the inauguration of PresidenT Yoweri Museveni.

This suspension comes just a few days after the two countries mend their democratic ties following intervention from the Emir of Qatar. Mogadishu later announced that it was reopening its diplomatic channels.

In December Somalia had shut down its diplomatic channels, protesting against Kenya for interfering with its governance.

Somali officials however clarified that the resumed relations do not involve lifting the ban on miraa trade or discussions on the maritime dispute which is currently at the International Court of Justice awaiting verdict.

Somalia has also not indicated when its ambassador to Kenya Mr.Mohamud Nur Tarsan will resume.

Tarsan was recalled to Mogadishu and Kenya’s ambassador to Somalia Mr. Lucas Tumbo was returned to Nairobi following the democratic dispute.