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Somali government blocks Kenyan direct flights to Hargeisa

Nairobi (SD) – Kenya Airways cancels direct flights to Hargeisa, Somaliland, months after agreement was reached between Presidents Uhuru Kenyatta and Muse Bihi.

Kenya Airways has today distanced itself from reports that it will launch direct flights to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, at the end of May.

“Kenya Airways (KQ) would like to clarify that plans to launch flight to Hargeisa, Somaliland are currently on hold pending requisite clearance and approvals.”

Adding “We currently do not have any flights in operation, contrary to information circulating on social media.”

Sources tell SD that Somalia’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation has refused to allow Kenya Airways to fly to Hargeisa, the capital of Somaliland, after questioning Kenya’s political ties with Somaliland.

Preparation for Kenya Airways’ planned direct flight to Hargeisa has been underway in recent months, but has not been implemented due to objection from the federal government, which views it as an affront to Somalia’s unity.

The move comes as the Kenyan government announced yesterday that it has suspended flights to and from Somalia, putting further pressure on the federal government to allow Kat imports from Kenya.

Kenya and Somalia have recently re-established their political ties, but Somalia has refused to allow Kenyan Kat to be sold in the country.

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