Following a much-politicized move by flyDubai which suspended its flights to Somaliland on March 19 and later, the government of Somaliland, Saturday, proclaimed that its airports were open to all international flights except for those temporarily banned for fear of the COVID-19 world scourge.
Ex-Captain Abdi Mohamed Rodol, speaking to the media, stated that Somalia had no call to politicize the issue of partial bans to incoming Somaliland flights.
“Somalia has neither the power nor any kind of jurisdiction over Somaliland airspace. It has no call to claim otherwise,” he said.
Mr Rodol added that the Republic of Somaliland was its own master when it came to the management of its airspace.
“Somaliland welcomes all international flights and all airlines plying inbound routes unless they were included in the list of banned flights published,” he added.
Mr Rodol accused of Federal Somalia of an attempt to adversely influence international understanding of what was happening as regards airspace control, obfuscating the whole issue in order to project itself as a master without whose permission Somaliland would be a no-go area.
Mr Rodol, however, sidestepped to disclose the official view of the government on why flyDubai, which was not included in the Somaliland-banned flights, chose to suspend flights on mid-flight of an incoming flight on Thursday.
Immediately seizing the opportunity, Somalia claimed flyDubai turned in compliance with a Villa Somalia ban despite the fact that Somalia and Somaliland operated separately for the past 29 years with the latter proving a much better, more dependable, more stable, established democracy than anarchy-ridden, world-propped Somalia down the southern lane.
Unlike flyDubai, FlyEthiopian, another major airline plying the Addis Ababa- Hargeisa trade route at least 4 days a week, most times twice a day, showed how baseless the Villa Somalia claims were. Flights restarted following an initial Covid-19 scare.
Somalia, in the airlines day or two absence, waged a media campaign to the effect that both FlyDubai and Ethiopian fully complied with the Somalia ban, again, showing how gleefully Somalia wished to completely isolate a better government in Somaliland.
Ethiopian was also not included among the banned flights.
Our flights from #Hargeisa to #Addis connecting more than 120 destinations are operating as per their schedule, twice daily.
Today we accommodate all Passengers from the last two days flight cancellation, we Apologize any inconvenience for last two days.
Enjoy flying with #ET pic.twitter.com/8LNmAKt6EJ
— Ethiopian Airlines Hargeisa (@flyethiopianhga) March 21, 2020
Somalia, in direct breach of all agreements between the two sides since they started talking from 2012 onwards, completely took over airspace management in 2018.
Rodol and his predecessor Farhan Haibeh mislead the nation by vehemently claiming no such thing was possible while both of them, in direct violation of the established norm, were meeting with a more guileful Somalia Aviation minister on several occasions in Nairobi. Face to face meetings that only empowered Somalia’s claims more were never sanctioned by the Somaliland constituents.