With the Turkey hosted international sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia having stalled, banter over airspace administration is now being effected at the VOA Somali service.
Representing the two formerly united countries that parted ways in 1991 at the the on air war of words over airspace control are respective ministers of aviation, Farhan Abdi Haybe in Hargeisa and Mohamed Abdilahi Salaad ‘Omaar’ from Mogadishu respectively.
At an interview with VOA somali service reporter Barkhad Mahmud Kariye in Hargeisa on the 30th Aug 2017, the Somaliland Aviation and air transport minister Farhan Abdi Haybe informed that the country’s airspace is still under control of the International Civil Aviation Organization-ICAO.
The remarks by Minister Farhan were in reaction to the alleged imminent Somaliland airspace management take over revealed by Somalia made by minister ‘Omaar’ his counterpart in Mogadishu a day earlier during an interview with VOAs Harun Maruuf.
“To my informed understanding the Somaliland airspace is still and shall be under ICAO administration until 2018 when current contract of the UN body ends ”
While Minister Farhan was categoric that not an iota of not only airspace but other on his country’s jurisdictional authority can be managed by a foreign power without permission.
In his VOA interview of the 29th Aug 2017, the Somalia aviation minister Mohamed Abdilahi Salaad ‘Omaar’ revealed that come this October, ICAO shall relinquish its mandate in both Somalia and Somaliland.
Said he“As from October 2017 the entire Somalia airspace and including that of Somaliland shall be managed from Mogadishu by ministry”
According to Minister Omaar all arrangements for the said takeover are ongoing and shall be completed latest end of September.
The planning towards Somalia assuming total authority over issues related to aviation an air transport include acquisition and subsequent installation of equipment as well as personnel training.
ICAO has been under the guise of Civil Aviation Caretaker Authority for Somalia-CACAS administering airspace and related aviation issues for both Somalia and Somaliland for over two decades.
This very burning dispute between the governments in Hargeisa and Mogadishu has been in the Centre stage of the international sanctioned talks between Somaliland and Somalia, hosted by Turkey.
Initiated at the London Conference on Somalia of 2012, the talks that have been stalled for over a year, utilized most of negotiations sessions in the airspace control banter.
Following the 2012 conference in London whose final communique sanctioned the talks, the first face to face official meeting between Somaliland and Somalia take place at London’s Cheveninng house where guidelines for future encounters were put in place.