Kenyan aviation authorities have banned unaccompanied luggage on aircrafts from Somalia insisting that all planes land at Wajir Airport for security checks.
In a letter sent to Somalia, Kenya’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs says security and aviation agencies in Nairobi reversed the directive on direct flights between the two cities as Mogadishu had flouted air safety standards on travellers.
The letter addressed to the Somali Ministry of Foreign Affairs says serious “security considerations” had influenced Kenya’s decision to reintroduce security checks at Wajir Airport, two years after they were lifted.
It goes further to state that Somalia had done little to ensure the safety of passengers travelling into Nairobi.
“It has come to the notice of the relevant Kenyan authorities that passengers are allowed to travel from Mogadishu without proper documentation and visas. The ministry, therefore, requests that document verification be enhanced at the port of departure”, the letter states.
Kenyan authorities ordered that unaccompanied bags are destroyed and airlines found carrying them be punished.
In what could push the tiff into the global arena, Nairobi also wrote to 144 diplomatic missions in Kenya rejecting Mogadishu’s move to ban its officials from attending regional meetings in the city owing to the travel hitches.
“Somali government officials are always welcome subject to entry requirements as applicable to all foreign nationals,” said Kenyan officials.