By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – The Ministry of Aviation has procured and installed air transport control equipment at all major airports in the republic of Somaliland.
This is according to a press statement released by the spokesperson of the ministry Saddam Mohamed Ahmed that read:
Quote – Following lengthily preparations to transfer control and management of the country’s airspace from the UN the government of Somaliland has successfully acquired and installed all related equipment relevant to the functions.
To this effect the ministry of Aviation and Air transport undertook testing of the installed Radar and air control equipment on the 6th June 2014″ is pleased to announce that the republic has as from now henceforth acquired full capabilities for control of its airspace.
The entire process from installation to testing was exclusively performed by trained Somaliland citizens under the supervision of Eng Saeed Mahdi Ileeye the director of Aviation at the ministry.
In pursuit of implementing decision by the government of Somaliland to assume full control of its airspace control and management, the ministry of Aviation and Air transport hereby informs and affirms that all arrangements to this effect including procurement, installation and testing of equipment as well as training personnel have been completed and all systems are ready for the go.
While reiterating that the government of Somaliland is fully committed to the assumption of full control and management of the country’s airspace the ministry of aviation which is mandated with the implementation of the said hereby urges the UN to tread carefully and desist from contradictory acts especially as pertains to continued accumulation of revenue.
Finally the government Somaliland which is intent on maintaining existing cordial relations with the UN and neighbouring states hereby informs that it shall at no time accept any country to assume control of its airspace and warns that contravention of its control and management authority shall impinge negatively and will invite and result in suitable retaliation” – Unquote
“The statement originally released in Somali language was translated by Somalilandsun”
The capabilities acquired after a periods of 23 years has been received with acclaim by somalilanders everywhere whose support for move is unequivocal especially coming in the heels of an announcement by the Somaliland federal government-SFG that the UNDP has transferred control of the Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia -CACAS to the Mogadishu authorities.
Based in Nairobi, the CACAS has served as a caretaker for Somaliland and Somalia’s airspace since the collapse of the central government in the early 1990s following the outbreak of the civil war. The organization has collected over-flight revenues on behalf of the country, re-investing the proceeds into air traffic control and airport maintenance. It has among its objectives the upkeep and operation of services and equipment earmarked for international air transport activities, including local operations within the Mogadishu Flight Information Region and humanitarian flights.
The CACAS move by both the UN and SFG is contrary to agreements reached by the governments of Somaliland and Somalia during internationally sanction talks hosted by Turkey of note and pertaining to the current subject matter being Istanbul II communiqué in which it was concurred and agreed upon signature by heads of negotiating teams witnessed by Turkish authorities that a joint airspace control body be established and headquartered in Hargeisa.
While the fifth phase of dialogue is slated for resumption in any day of this coming August, it is difficult to fathom how negotiations are going to proceed in lieu of the many violations against earlier agreements by the SFG which appears to have both the covert and overt support of the UN and to an extension some powerful members of the International Community whose intent is to re-establish Somaliweyn which is the greater Somalia that was dismantled in 1991 after Somaliland a former British protectorate withdrew from its 1960 voluntary union with former Somalia-Italia, despite the oft repeated irrevocability of Somalilanders decisoon and desire to remain a sovereign Nation at all costs.