NAIROBI, Kenya — In an effort to revive diplomatic relations with neighboring Somalia, Kenya has lifted the ban on flights to and from Somalia.
The ministry of Foreign Affairs has in a statement said that the decision is due to mutual interests between the two countries who hope to restore broken ties.
“The Government of Kenya has taken due consideration of intercessions made and has decided to re-open Kenya’s airspace to all flights originating from Somalia and emanating from Kenya to Somalia,” the statement said.
In a notice issued to airmen on May 11, state corporation KCAA (Kenya Civil Aviation Authority) had directed that all flights to and from Somalia would not be allowed until August 9.
The government failed to give reasons for the ban, however it only exempted humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuation flights.
The ban came days after Qatar special envoy brokered a deal that saw the two countries restore diplomatic ties following a five-month diplomatic row. Kenya would later reiterate the ban claiming it was prompted by marred relations.
Kenya has however made a U-turn saying it is ready for negotiations. “This goodwill measure has been made in the mutual interest of our two countries and in the hope that it will cause the full normalisation [of] bilateral relations between Kenya and Somalia, including diplomatic, trade, and people to people linkages that have undergone undue strain,” said a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foreign missions in Nairobi.
The two countries have been in a diplomatic dispute since 2020 after Somalia claimed Kenya interfered and violated her sovereignty and territorial integrity.