Kenya Threatens to Suspend Humanitarian Flights to Somalia


Somalilandsun: The Kenyan government has warned UN agencies, international organizations and diplomatic missions of a pissible6 suspension of all thier flights to Somalia.

Kenya suspended flights to Somalia for three months on May 11th, but excluded medical and humanitarian flights.

However, in a statement the Kenyan Ministry of Foreign Affairs has accused  UN agencies, international organizations and diplomatic missions of misusing their permits, using them for political purposes, and violating the ban on flights.

The Ministry  warned the UN agencies and other international bodies against using their humanitarian flights to transport passengers and other banned items.

“The ministry has noticed the misuse of the humanitarian flights for bilateral and political matters contrary to the May 11, NOTAM filed by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA),” read the statement.

The ministry said it will now clear all passengers and goods transported by the UN agencies and other international bodies before they leave Nairobi for Somalia.

“For humanitarian flights, UN bodies and other agencies must furnish the ministry with a list of passengers and goods to be transported to Somalia for clearance,” said the ministry.

According to the NOTAM, Kenya banned all commercial and cargo flights to and from Somalia except for United Nations Humanitarian Air Service relief flights, medevac flights, and humanitarian missions.

Airlines that were affected by the suspension include African Express Airways (XU, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta), Freedom Airline Express (4F, Nairobi Wilson), Jubba Airways (Kenya), Ocean Airlines (Somalia) (Mogadishu) and cargo carriers Astral Aviation (8V, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta), Skyward Express (OW, Nairobi Wilson) and Safe Air (K3, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta).

An unnamed Somali official described the move as a move by Kenya to crack down on diplomats, though he did not provide details