In Summary
  • The BBC reported on Friday that the flights had been suspended and that planes will now have to land in Wajir for security checks.
  • 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.
  • It is not clear what influenced the reintroduction of this policy and Kenya's Interior ministry was not immediately available for comment on the matter.
  • Somalia claimed the suspension was politically motivated and regretted that Kenya was being "unneighbourly".

Kenya has suspended direct flights from Somalia's capital Mogadishu to Nairobi for security reasons but Somalia has asked for reconsideration, saying the decision was politically motivated.

The BBC reported on Friday that the flights had been suspended and that planes will now land in Wajir for security checks.

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.

'POLITICAL MOTIVATION

In a statement on Friday, however, Somalia's Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation asked Kenya to reconsider the decision, saying it was bad for their strong relations.

Somalia said it was "deeply concerned" by the move and regretted that Kenya was being "unneighbourly"; it said the move was against "our tenets of good neighbourliness and strong relations".

"The Federal Government of Somalia believes this action places undue burden on Somali citizens and other travellers," the statement said.

"This act also creates [an] unnecessary barrier on trade and movement of people between the two countries."

Somalia said it asked Kenya to reconsider the decision in line with its mandate to "protect and safeguard its sovereignty and the dignity and wellbeing of its citizens".

"The FGS will, in the meantime, work with all relevant authorities to resolve this issue and take appropriate action as deemed necessary," the statement said.

PAST POLICY

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