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Kenya threats to stop humanitarian flights to Somalia

NAIROBI (SD) – Kenya has warned that it will stop the humanitarian flights from to and from Somalia more than two weeks after the East Africa nation ban flights to the Horn of Africa nation with exception of humanitarian deliveries and medical evacuation.

In a letter dated May 27 seen by Somali Dispatch, the ministry of foreign affairs threatened to impose total flight ban in Somalia, saying some diplomatic missions and international agencies were misusing the exemption.

“”The ministry reiterates that humanitarian flights must strictly be used for humanitarian purposes to avoid a possible declaration by the government of Kenya of a full lockdown on all flights,” the letter reads in part.

Kenya affirmed that its airspace with Somalia remains closed owing to severance of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

On 11th of this month, Kenya suspended all flights with Somalia, indicating that exceptions will be made to those assisting in medical and humanitarian needs.

Kenya’s decision came a day after Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) issued a statement that flights transporting khat (commonly known as miraa) remain suspended after Somalia announced restoration of diplomatic ties with Kenya.

This is despite Somalia agreeing, two days earlier, to restore diplomatic relations with Kenya that it had suspended in December 2020.

Since the mirra-ban on Kenya was implemented, those involved in the supply chain of the stimulant moved their operations to Ethiopia.

Almost all of the planes ferrying Ethiopian khat from Dire Dawa are Kenyan registered aircrafts.

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