Somalia writes to ICAO over ‘airspace breach’ by Kenya

Somalia has filed a complaint with the International Civil Aviation Organisation over what it termed as violation of airspace by Kenya after an aircraft was cleared from Nairobi to fly directly to Kismayu instead of a stopover at Mogadishu in line with new regulations.

Officials at Somalia Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) confirmed to HOL that the airspace regulator had protested the decision by Kenya to allow the aircraft which was carrying politicians heading for Ahmed Madobe’s inauguration to fly directly to Kismayu contrary to regulations. According to regulations by the SCAA last month, airlines flying to Kismayu must stop over at Mogadishu before proceeding to the coastal town.

HOL has also learnt the aircraft, with registration number 5Y-JXJ operates under Air Operator License (AOC) from Jubba Airways.

The aircraft carrying politicians among them former South West president Sharif Sheikh Adan and former Galmudug president Abdikarin Guled landed at Kismayu Airport at about 3pm Saturday afternoon. Jubbaland president Ahmed Madobe is expected to be sworn into office this week after the event was postponed September 26 following traveling restrictions to Kismayu by the Federal Government.

The protest by Somalia adds to yet another fault line in faltering relations between the Mogadishu and Nairobi. Both countries are currently locked in a bitter dispute over the Indian Ocean border case which is before the International Court of Justice.

The Court summoned representatives of the two countries Friday after it emerged Kenya had petitioned the court for more time as the November 4 deadline looms. The Court is expected to issue directions on the matter soon.

The new development will also widen the rift between the Federal Government and Jubbaland government both of which have been at loggerheads following the controversial election of Ahmed Madobe last month. Mogadishu has maintained it won’t recognize Madobe as president.