Kenya: Government lifts ban on flights to and fro Somalia

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Kenya last Thursday, announced the lifting of the ban on flights from Kenya to Somalia and in from Somalia back to Kenya.

Kenya’s Foreign Ministry said it has “taken due consideration of intercessions made and has decided to reopen Kenya’s airspace to all flights originating from Somalia and emanating from Kenya to Somalia.” In a note from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to foreign missions in Nairobi, the move was part of Kenya’s efforts to begin relations again with Somalia after the events of December last year where Somalia cut off diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing Nairobi, Kenya’s capital, of interfering in the internal affairs of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu.

The note said that this was in the mutual interest of both countries, in the hope that it will normalise fully the bilateral relations of Kenya and Somalia “including diplomatic, trade, and people to people linkages that have undergone undue strain”.

After December last year, security, education, and trade relations between the countries were severed for some five months, until the announcement from Mogadishu in May that it was ready to restore ties with Nairobi, However, days later on May 11th, Kenya decided to stop air traffic with Somalia, with the exception of humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuation flights, without any giving any reason for the decision.

The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) Director-General Gilbert Kibe confirmed to Nation.Africa that the ban had been reversed adding that existing COVID-19 protocols applicable to all passengers traveling to Kenya were still in place. They include among others possession of a valid COVID-19 negative PCR test certificate, conducted within 96 hours before travel by all passengers coming to the country.

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