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Kenya bans flights to and from Somalia

By Mwangi Maina | May 11th 2021
President Uhuru Kenyatta, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Somalia President Abdullahi Farmajo when they met to discuss the source of the maritime dispute.[Courtesy]

Barely a week after restoring diplomatic ties, Kenya has banned all flights to and from Somalia with immediate effect. 

Although no reason was given, Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director General Captain Gilbert Kibe said it was an order they are implementing and Kibe said he would not disclose details of who gave the orders and why.

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

Last week Somalia announced it had restored diplomatic ties with Kenya amid maritime boundary rows and pledged respect for sovereignty.

President Mohamed Farmaajo's spokesperson Abdirashid Hashi said the latest move 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,” he said.

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

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