By: Yusuf M Hasan
MOGADISHU (Somalilandsun) – Plans are afoot to start managing the Somaliland airspace from Mogadishu.
The Somalia Federal Government-SFG and UNDP have finalized arrangements to shift the management and control of airspace the Mogadishu based authorities.
This was revealed by the SFG minister of civil aviation Saeed Jama Qorsheel during a press briefing in Mogadishu where he also informed that the UNDP run Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority of Somalia (CACAS) office shall be transferred to Mogadishu for management by the SFG.
“In pursuit of fulfilling the mandate of the government to administer federal resources we are assuming total control of all airspace including that of Somaliland” said minister Qorsheel
Attributing the transfer of the UNDP run CACAS cash-cow which has roughshod over the airspace of Somalia and Somaliland since 1996 to federal mandate Qorsheel said all people of greater Somalia support the federal expansionism of the president Hasan government.
The deal between UNDP and SFG to transfer CACAS to Mogadishu was reached last December during the tenure of ex-SFG aviation minister Abdilahi Elmoge Hirsi.
Queried on whether the SFG assumption of Somaliland airspace control goes against agreements reached in Turkey during the internationally sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia Qorsheel had this to say’
“Somaliland has no say in this issue since the administration of all federal issues are the mandate of the Mogadishu based SFG”
During the talks of July 2013 between Somaliland and Somalia in Turkey it was agreed that the two neighbouring countries should share airspace control and management through a body to be established in Hargeisa.
The after talks 9 points Istanbul II communiqué had section 8 and 9 exclusive to airspace management, it read
8. Referring to the Communiqué of the two parties Dialogue in Istanbul, Turkey on 7-9/July 2013. The parties agreed to nominate Air Traffic Control Board to establish within 45 days.
9. The parties agreed to appoint an ad-hoc technical committee composed of 4 members, ( two from each party) to prepare the terms of reference of the Air Traffic Control Board. The Technical Committee work will be supervised by the respective two Ministers.
Efforts to implement the agreement failed after aviation technical teams from the two countries failed to agree during a meeting in Turkey recently.
Despite the controversy surrounding the Somaliland airspace control and the Istanbul II communiqué this is the second time for the SFG claiming UNDP support to announce intent.
Meanwhile aviation officials in Hargeisa are yet to comment on the new developments.