Somalia learnt of Kenya flight ban from media, minister says By Abdulkadir Khalif

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A plane takes off from the Aden Abdulle International Airport in the Somali capital Mogadishu.

Somalia on Tuesday night said it will issue an appropriate reaction to Kenya’s suspension of flights between the two countries.

Somalia’s Minister for Air Transportation, Duran Farah, said his government only learnt of the decision through the media, as Kenya had not made direct contact with Somalia regarding the matter.

“We have only learnt the flight suspensions through social media,” Minister Duran told the media.

He underlined that the ban will affect both countries, and reiterated that his government will make clear its position on the issue.

“The Somali government will state an appropriate response to that matter,” the minister said.

He was responding to media queries after Kenya released a statement, via the Kenyan Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA), banning all commercial and cargo flights to and from Somalia until August this year.

Through a NOTAM, a notice issued to airmen, KCAA indicated that exceptions will be mad for the United Nations, Medevac flights and humanitarian missions.

Kenya’s decision comes a day after the Somali Civil Aviation Authority (SCAA) issued a statement that khat or miraa flights remains suspended, despite agreeing to restore diplomatic relations with Kenya just two days earlier. Somalia had severed relations with Kenya in December last year.

Somalia’s Transport Minister, however, argued that there was no correlation between stopping khat flights from Kenya and Kenya’ suspension of commercial flights.

“The issue of khat is a trade subject that needs discussions between the two governments, but the commercial flights mainly concerns movement of people and goods to both sides,” said the minister.