Somalilandsun: The airspace management dispute between Somaliland and Somalia has now officially gone a notch higher.
This follows announcement that Somali Civil Aviation Authority has commenced local licensing of airlines and aircraft via a tweet @MrDuqa by the Somalia’s Director of Communications of the Presidency Abdirashid M Hashi which read
“After 30 yrs of our aviation sector operating on foreign licensing, starting today, Somali owned airlines & experts will use #Somalia-issued licenses thanks to@SomaliCAA. Somali airlines, Freedom airlines & Hala airlines are the 1st licensed operators in the historical process
Adding that Our, Somalia aviation sector regains its status by 1. Reclaiming self control of our airspace. 2. Civil aviation bill Signed. 3. And finally, starting 12th Feb all flights operating in our airspace will be licensed & registered by our Somali civil Aviation authority.
While this is good news for the wartorn country whose survival depends on the Goodwill of the international community that supports its political and security survival through massive input of funds, in Somaliland this creates a new anomaly.
This two countries formerly United in 1960 have been in loggerheads for three decades following the withdrawal of Somaliland from the voluntary turned fateful union in 1991.
While Somaliland remains internationally Unrecognized as a sovereign nation, it has maintained its own statehood not to mention being a bastion of security and democracy in the Horn of Africa region.
With Somalia adamant that Somaliland is still it’s north west region airspace management and control has been one of the most contended issue.
This dispute has according to many been the main issue leading to dismal negotiations between the two sanctioned by the international community back on 2012.
This dispute can be exemplified by the the ban imposed on two international carriers flydubai and Air Arabia by the government of Somaliland after the duo of Emirati carriers cancelled flights to Hargeisa on the behest of Somalia as part of COVID-19 preventive measures.
The departure of the two carriers has left Ethiopian and Air Djibouti as the only international flight operators plying the Hargeisa route.
While the issue of licensing international carriers is tangible the worry is now about that of local operators like Juba,Dallo etc who claim both Hargeisa and Mogadishu as home base.
By the time of going to press the Somaliland Government has not responded to this new development.