Diplomatic row as Somalia Prime Minister is detained at JKIA

Ra'iisulwasaaraha Soomaaliya Cumar Cabdirashiid
Ra’iisulwasaaraha Soomaaliya Cumar Cabdirashiid

A diplomatic row is brewing between Kenya and Somalia after the detention of Somalia Prime Minister Omar Sharmarke and three ministers at the JKIA on Saturday.

Reports indicate Sharmarke, who has been a shuttle diplomat, was detained at JKIA after a Freedom Airline Express chartered flight he travelled in breached protocol.

It flew straight to JKIA from Mogadishu’s Aden Adde International Airport.

The Somalia Prime Minister was in a delegation of more than 20 government officials travelling to Turkey for a conference.

A presidential decree issued several years ago demands all aircraft coming from Somalia to stop at Wajir International Airport for checks.

The incident could test diplomatic relations between Kenya and war-torn Somalia.

It is not known why Sharmake’s pilots aircraft chose to fly directly to JKIA yet they are aware of the Wajir stop over.

“This is a breach of Kenyan security. The pilots of the aircraft in which the Somalia officials were flying must have been aware, unless they were following instructions not communicated to us,” a JKIA official said.

Attempts to get a comment from the Kenya Airports Authority were futile.

The-Star

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