Somalia Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on Thursday summoned the Ambassador of the Republic of Kenya to Somalia, Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo, to protest “encroachment of its air”.
Tumbo was received by the Somalia State Minister of the Ministry Mr Abdulkadir Ahmed-kheir Abdi, who handed him a protest note against the violation of a Kenyan plane on Somali airspace on October 5, which landed at Kismayo airport without any official permission.
“Somalia strongly protests this violation and will not accept any encroachment on its air, sea and land borders, and calls on Kenya to respond to this breach while its troops stationed in the LowerJuba region are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),” read a press statement from the Somalia government.
In filing a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the UN’s specialised air transport regulator, the Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) claimed Kenya had violated its airspace after a plane left Nairobi and flew directly to Sayid Mohammed Hassan International Airport, informally known as Kismayu Airport.
“The Federal Government of Somalia sees this action contradicts all principles of good neighborliness and non-interference in the internal affairs of states,” added the statement.
All planes from Kenya are required tostop in Mogadishu before heading to Kismayu, an order imposed in September in a bid to stop a planned inauguration ceremony for local state leader Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Madobe.
The aircraft in question, a Fokker 50, is registered in Kenya as 5Y-JXJ and operates under Juba Airways, a Somali airliner.
Aboard the plane were former federal state leaders Sharif Hassan Aden (South West) and Abdikarim Hussein Guled (Galmudug). There were also several Somali MPs heading to Kismayu ahead of the planned, but controversial, swearing-in of Jubbaland President Sheikh Ahmed Mohamed Madobe.