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Somalia turns away Ethiopian delegation heading to Hargeisa

MOGADISHU (SD)-Today, the Federal Government of Somalia turned back a plane that was said to be carrying a high-level delegation from the Ethiopian government.

The returned Ethiopian Airlines flight ETH8372 carried the (VVIP) symbol, and it was unclear if the Ethiopian Prime Minister was on the plane.

Mesfin Tasew, Ethiopian Airlines CEO, confirmed to the BBC the unexpected rerouting due to a lack of authorization from Somali aviation authorities.

The CEO did not disclose details about the affected passengers, However, Somalia’s Minister of Information, Daoud Aweis, informed the BBC that the aircraft, carrying high-ranking Ethiopian government officials, was denied entry into Hargeisa.

Tensions escalated after a high-level delegation arrived in Hargeisa yesterday, involving the Ethiopian Prime Minister’s security detail and other Ethiopian military officials.

Furthermore, the Somali government briefly halted all flights from Ethiopia but later allowed an Ethiopian flight carrying civilian travelers to Hargeisa.

The relationship between Somalia and Ethiopia has worsened following the agreement between Ethiopia and Somaliland which allowed Ethiopia to have a military base in the Red Sea.

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