Somalia concerned by Kenya’s decision to divert Mogadishu flights

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An aerial view of the Wilson Airport in Nairobi.

An aerial view of the Wilson Airport in Nairobi. Somalia government says deeply concerned by Kenya’s decision to divert Mogadishu flights destined for Nairobi via Wajir. FILE PHOTO | SALATON NJAU

The Somali government Friday said it was ”deeply concerned” by Kenya’s decision to suspend direct flights to Mogadishu.

Planes will now have to land in the northern Kenyan town of Wajir for security checks.

Somali authorities say the new policy will have an impact on the movement of passengers and goods between the two countries.

“The Federal Government Of Somalia (FGS) believes this action places undue burden on Somali citizens and other travellers,” the Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said in a statement.

Direct flights were reinstated two years ago after the Somali government signed an agreement with Kenya to partially lift restrictions that were enforced 10 years ago.

The ministry added it will engage Kenyan authorities to resolve the matter.

Kenya’s Interior ministry was not immediately available for comment on the matter but Captain Gilbert Kibe, Director-General of the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority, told the Nation that the decision was “purely for security reasons”.

On phone on Saturday, he said the suspension will last until August 9 when a review will be carried out and a decision made on whether to maintain or lift it.

By The EastAfrican
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BBC

By BBC
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—Additional reporting by Aggrey Mutambo.