Kenya threatens to ban humanitarian flights to Somalia
Kenya has threatened to ban flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu if the UN and other international organizations fail to use the two countries' flights for humanitarian purposes only. In an unofficial statement issued today, Kenya's Ministry of Foreign Affairs warned UN and other international agencies against using other prohibited items in their humanitarian flights. "The ministry has found that humanitarian flights have been misused on both sides and for political reasons contrary to the May 11th decision, NOTAM submitted by the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA)," the statement read in part. The ministry said it would now inspect all passengers and goods shipped by the UN and other international agencies before they leave Nairobi for Somalia. "The humanitarian flights, United Nations agencies and other organizations to submit to the ministry a list of passengers and goods to be transported to Somalia," the ministry said. According to NOTAM, Kenya has banned all commercial and cargo flights to and from Somalia except for United Nations relief flights, mevac flights, and humanitarian operations. The flights affected by the suspension include African Express Airways (XU, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta), Freedom Airline Express (4F, Nairobi Wilson), Jubba Airways (Kenya), Ocean Airlines (Somalia) (Mogadishu) and Astral cargo planes. Aviation (8V), Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta), Skyward Express (OW, Nairobi Wilson) and Safe Air (K3, Nairobi Jomo Kenyatta). Somalia announced on May 6th that it would restore diplomatic relations with Kenya after severing ties in December, accusing Nairobi of meddling in its affairs. Somalia severed ties on December 15th after Kenya hosted the leadership of Somaliland, a breakaway state that does not recognize the central government in Mogadishu.