Somalia denies airspace to Ethiopian Airlines plane

Wednesday January 17 2024
An Ethiopian Airlines plane.

An Ethiopian Airlines plane. PHOTO | FILE | NMG


An Ethiopian Airlines flight was Wednesday denied access to Somalia airspace after Mogadishu authorities said it lacked proper permission.

The aircraft reported to be carrying a high-level Ethiopian delegation, was said to have been heading to Hargeisa, the capital of the breakaway Somaliland.

Read: Ethiopia holds military cooperation talks with Somaliland

Somalia civil aviation said it ordered the return of the Ethiopian flight for lacking necessary clearance to use Somali airspace.

“Today, the Somali Civil Aviation Authority took action to turn back an Ethiopian Airlines plane, Dash 8-Q400, flight number ET8372, from Somali airspace as it was found to be unauthorised. Adhering to international air rules and our rules, flights must obtain proper permission before entering airspace”, said the agency.

The development comes amid a diplomatic row between Somalia and Ethiopia after Addis Ababa signed a memorandum of understanding to secure its access to the Red Sea with the separatist Somaliland.


Read: Ethiopia-Somaliland deal set off tsunami in East Africa

Somaliland has claimed autonomy since 1991 but it is not internationally recognised.

Under the MoU signed January 1, Somaliland agreed to lease 20 kilometres of its coast for 50 years to land-locked Ethiopia, which indicated it wants to set up a naval base and a commercial port.

The United States, the European Union, the African Union, the Arab League and China have urged Ethiopia to respect Somalia’s territorial integrity.