Somalia government on Saturday faulted Kenya for its decision to reintroduce flight stopovers in Wajir, northeast Kenya, for all flights from Mogadishu, saying the move restricts movements of Somali citizens.
Somalia’s Ministry of Transport and Civil Aviation said in a statement on Saturday that the decision by Nairobi is politicized and not good for neighborly relations.
The ministry said the matter will be referred to the relevant authorities to assess an “appropriate” response, saying Kenya has not fully explained why it has taken the unilateral decision to see Mogadishu flights bound for Nairobi to pass through Wajir airport for security checks.
The ministry also urged Kenya to “reconsider” the decision which it said is going to restrict trade and travels between the two countries.
A notice from the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority (KCAA) issued early this week ordered all flights from Mogadishu to stop in Wajir airport for security checks before proceeding to Nairobi.
The two neighboring countries agreed on March 2017 to resume the direct flights between Mogadishu and Nairobi and ended the 10 years of Wajir short stopovers.
The Wajir security stopover, which was introduced by Kenya in 2006, is conducted by security agencies and involves passengers disembarking from the plane and going through immigration and customs while all luggage are removed and scanned.