NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 23 – President Uhuru Kenyatta on Thursday, following talks with Somali’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, announced that direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu would be relaunched within a fortnight.
“We’ve directed the security teams from both countries to meet immediately and agree on modalities of relaunching direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu and this is to happen with the first flight being within two weeks.”
A move welcomed by Mohamed, more popularly known by his nickname Farmajo, when he, together with President Kenyatta gave a joint press briefing on their talks, at State House, Nairobi.
“I wanted to thank you for making the flights from Mogadishu to Nairobi starting in two weeks. We will welcome that and we really appreciate,” he said.
He also thanked Kenya for the prominent role it has played in the fight against Al Shabaab through the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) and for hosting, for decades, the largest number of Somali refugees.
Mohamed is also in town to attend the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) Summit on refugees that will be held in Nairobi on Saturday.
His visit comes at a time when UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres has appealed for the international community to come in and assist Mohamed’s government to deal with the drought currently faced by the region.
On his visit to Kenya earlier this month, Guterres also called on the international community to step up and ensure AMISOM is properly funded and help support the strengthening of Somalia’s institutions.
READ: UN Chief says time international community wakes up and smells coffee on AMISOM
Given Kenya’s insistence that the Dadaab refugee camp must close, Saturday’s Summit will also look at how areas from which Al Shabaab has been driven, can be stabilised.