Africa

Is President Uhuru’s Decision To Re-Open Direct Flights Between Kenya And Somalia A Good Move?

After a 10 year ban, direct flights between Nairobi and Mogadishu are now possible.

The first direct flight from Mogadishu carrying 49 passengers landed at JKIA yesterday (March 29th 2017). The re-launch of direct flights had been agreed upon last week during talks between President Uhuru and Somalia’s president Mohammed Abdullahi.

The bilateral talks were also attended by Deputy President William Ruto, Foreign Affairs Cabinet Secretaries Amina Mohamed, Joseph Nkaissery, Raychelle Omamo, James Macharia, Cleopa Mailu, Willy Bett, Mwangi Kiunjuri and Dan Kazungu.

There will also be no visa requirement for diplomatic and service passport holders from both countries. But is it a good move or will it increase the threat of Al Shabaab and provide them with an easy route?

President Uhuru with Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.

uhuru and somalia president

Image: citizentv.co.ke

Previously, flights from Mogadishu used to land at Wajir airport for thorough inspection of passengers and luggage before being allowed to proceed to Nairobi.

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Regarding security measures, CS Nkaiserry said:

Here in Nairobi at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, we have taken the necessary steps to ensure that all aircrafts are fully inspected so that the status of our airport is not compromised.

Is that enough re-assurance?

Here is the CS welcoming passengers of the first flight after landing at JKIA

passengers somalia

Image: citizentv.co.ke

Also present at the airport to receive the inaugural flight from Mogadishu was the acting Somalia Ambassador to Kenya Ali Mohamed Sheik.

The Interior CS further clarified that all of Kenya’s national security agencies have ensured that Mogadishu airport is fully safe and that all necessary measures are in place for smooth operations.

Do you think it’s a good move or bad move?

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