Kenya eases tension with Somalia over airspace

By Andrew Wasike

NAIROBI, Kenya (AA) – Kenya’s Foreign Affairs Ministry announced the re-opening of its airspace for flights to and from Somalia on Thursday.

Kenya said it has “taken due consideration of intercessions made and has decided to re-open Kenya’s airspace to all flights.”

It noted that it arrived at the goodwill measure in the mutual interest of the two East African countries in hopes it will cause the full normalization of relations, “including diplomatic, trade and people to people linkages that have undergone undue strain.”

Kenya noted that all coronavirus protocols are applicable to all passengers from Somalia traveling to Kenya.

Last December, Somalia severed diplomatic ties with Kenya, accusing Nairobi of interfering in Mogadishu's internal affairs.

The move crippled security, education, and trade ties between the two neighbors.

Somalia's Deputy Information Minister Abdirahman Yusuf on May 5 announced the resumption of diplomatic relations with Kenya, citing the interest of both countries.

But on May 11, Kenya announced that all flights were suspended with Somalia, except medevac flights and UN flights on humanitarian missions only, without giving a reason.