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Kenya Re-opens Airspace For Flights to and From Somalia

kcaa
KCAA Director General Capt. Gilbert Kibe.

Kenya has re-opened its airspace for flights to and from Somalia after a month of closure as a goodwill gesture to boost bilateral ties, Foreign Affairs ministry has said.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) suspended flights to and from Somalia on May 11, 2011, following a tensed diplomatic ties between the two nations.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic 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 Ministry said.

“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 bilateral relations between Kenya and Somalia including diplomatic, trade and people to people linkages that have undergone undue strain.”

The existing Covid-19 protocols will remain applicable to all passengers traveling to Kenya.

For instance, all passengers/crew coming to Kenya must be in possession of a valid Cocid-19 negative PCR test certificate conducted within 96 hours before travel.

However, children below the age of 5 years will be exempted from Covid-19 negative PCR test to enter Kenya.

All travelers will be expected to fill the travelers’ locator form and submit it before travel and thereafter submit daily health information to jitenge platform for 14 consecutive clays.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kenya avails itself of this opportunity to renew to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Federal Republic of Somalia the assurances of its highest consideration,” added the statement.

The ban was implemented after Somalia insisted on ban of miraa (khart) from Kenya despite the two nations having restored diplomatic ties.

In a statement, the Somali Civil Aviation authority (SCAA) said that it would not allow miraa (khart) into its airports.

“Somali Civil Aviation authority (SCAA) has the honor to inform all The operators that Carrying Mirra to Somalia is still prohibited, and the Policy of the Federal Government of Somalia did not change regarding the transportation of Miraa to Somalia airports,” said SCAA director-general Ahmed Moallin Hassan.

Read: Kenya Suspends Flights To And From Somalia

On May 6, 2021, Somalia announced the restoration of diplomatic relations with Kenya after mediation by the Qatari Emir Sheikh Tamim Al Thani.

In a statement, the Federal Government of Somalia said it was restoring the relations in the “interests of good neighborliness”.

“The two governments agree to keep friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other internal affairs, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence. The Presidents of both countries are grateful and thankful to the Emir of State of Qatar for his good offices in this regard,” the statement read in part.

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Written by Francis Muli

Follow me on Twitter @francismuli_. Email francis@kahawatungu.com

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