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Somalia summons Kenyan ambassador over ‘airspace violation’

Hiiraan Online
Friday October 11, 2019

- Somalia summoned Kenya’s ambassador in Mogadishu Thursday to register its protest over a violation of its airspace after a plane carrying Somali politicians flew directly from Nairobi to the coastal city of Kismayu early this month.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said Thursday it summoned Lt. General (Rtd) Lucas Tumbo to hand him a protest note ‘against the violation of a Kenyan plane on Somali airspace on October 5, which landed at Kismayo airport without any official permission. ‘

The summons comes barely a week after Somalia wrote to the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) protesting the move to allow the plane direct access to Kismayu.

The Somali Civil Aviation Authority last month ordered all flights heading to Kismayu to stop over in Mogadishu.

“Somalia strongly protests this violation and will not accept any encroachment on its air, sea and land borders, and calls on Kenya to respond to this breach while its troops stationed in the Lower Juba region are part of the African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM),” the note to Kenya read in part.

The airspace dispute adds to an already rocky state of relations between Somalia and Kenya even as the two await the verdict of the International Court of Justice over the maritime dispute.