NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 11- Kenya has banned flights to and from Somalia, days after Mogadishu announced that it had normalized bilateral relations with Nairobi.
The Kenya Civil Aviation Authority Director General Capt. Gilbert Kibe confirmed the move but did not provide further details.
“The Government has suspended the flights,” he said, in response to a question from Capital Fm.
A notice issued from the KCAA indicate that only medical emergency evacuation flights and those on the United Nations Humanitarian Missions will be exempted from the ban.
“All flights between Kenya and Somalia are suspended expect medical evacuation flights and United Nations Flights on humanitarian missions only,” reads the notice seen by Capital Fm News.
While the bilateral relations between the two countries have resumed, it remains frosty mainly fueled by a maritime border dispute Mogadishu filed in the International Court of Justice (ICJ).
Nairobi has since bolted out of the case.
Sources at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs however, indicated that the move to ban flights was in retaliation with Mogadishu’s failure to lift a ban on Miraa.
Just five days ago, Somalia issued a statement saying it had restored ties with Kenya, after more than 5 months.
“The Federal Government of Somalia announces that in keeping with the interests of good neighbourliness, it has resumed diplomatic relations with the Republic of Kenya,” Somalia’s Ministry of Information said in a statement.
“The two governments agree to keep friendly relations between the two countries on the basis of principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, equality, mutual benefit and peaceful co-existence.”
The truce was brokered by Qatar Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, who met both President Uhuru Kenyatta and his Somali counterpart Mohamed Abdullahi alias Farmaajo.