Somaliland: SFG Absconds Joint Airspace Management Agreement

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L R Somaliland and Somalia negotiators with Turkey mediators sign Istanbul II

By: Yusuf Hasan

HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – We hereby inform Somaliland citizens that joint Airspace control and management with Somalia is no longer plausible.

This was revealed during a press briefing in Hargeisa by the Director General –DG at the Somaliland ministry of aviation and air transport-MAA&T Omar Saeed Abdilahi Aden upon return from a three pronged technical committee meeting between Somaliland, Somalia federal Government –SFG and the International Civil Aviation Organization-ICAO in Nairobi where he was accompanied by his ministerial aviation advisor Ahmed Omar Mohamed ‘Agoo Dable’

“Due to machinations by ICAO discussions pertaining to the proposed Somaliland/Somalia joint airspace control and management technical committee meeting establishing guidelines ended acrimoniously” said DG Omar

The stakeholders meeting in the Kenyan capital Nairobi had the objective of establishing guidelines for the proposed joint airspace control and management between the two countries as agreed during internationally sanctioned talks hosted by the government of Turkey.

DG at the Somaliland ministry of aviation and air transport MAAT Omar Saeed Abdilahi Aden and advisor Ahmed Omar Mohamed Agoo DableWhile the issue of airspace control management between the two countries emanates as far back as the third phase of now stalled talks held in Istanbul on 7-9/July 2013 the two parties agreed to nominate Air Traffic Control Board headquartered in Hargeisa to be established within 45 days of this talks as per agreements announced in the ISTANBUL II COMMUNIQUE of 18th January 2014

According to Section seven of the ISTANBUL II COMMUNIQUE The parties agreed to nominate Air Traffic Control Board to establish within 45 days while section 8 stated, The parties agreed to appoint an ad-hoc technical committee composed of 4 members, ( two from each party) to prepare the terms of reference of the Air Traffic Control Board. The Technical Committee work will be supervised by the respective two Ministers.

“We are very sorry to inform somalilanders that the SFG has not only renegade on its agreement but signed a full control pact with ICAO without our knowledge” said DG Omar Saeed Abdilahi Aden the aviation ministry.

This is the second Somaliland-Somalia joint airspace Control technical committee meeting to dissipate in thin air through SFG machinations following a similar foray by aviation ministry officials to Turkey that concluded without tangible results.

On the 30th March 2014 The government of Somaliland dispatched three officials to Istanbul Turkey as part of its technical team on the establishment of a joint Air Traffic Control Board with neighboring Somalia composed of Aviation and air transport minister Mahmud Abdi Hashi and two senior aviation experts in the ministry Mr. Saeed Mahdi Ileeye ‘Sakiro and Mahmud Bihi Tarwale

While the SFG has renegade on all framework agreements reached in lengthily dialogue process all the way from Chevening, Dubai, Ankara, and Istanbul I, and Istanbul II the Somaliland parliament desirous of extending good neighborliness to Somalia amended the country’s aviation laws in order to accommodate the proposed joint control body.

The Somaliland aviation laws were amended During a house session of the 22nd March chaired by speaker Abdirahman Mohamed Abdilahi ‘Irro’ in Hargeisa where members were paced on poignant points that necessitated amendments most importantly being outcomes of the Communiqué of the Somaliland and Somalia Dialogue held in Istanbul Turkey between 7 and 9 July 2013.

The controversial airspace ownership between the two formerly united countries has not only taken a lion’s share of the Turkish hosted talks but one that in May of 2014 saw the authorities in Somaliland ban all UN aircrafts after ICAO secretly handed over management to the SFG been a major

Historic Somalia Summit in Ankara. Presidents of Somalia and Somaliland met in Ankara and witnessed signing of agreements under witness by Turkey senor officialsWhile the UN-SL acrimonies were settled thence lifting of the ban that had ensued with total grounding of all ECO and UNGASS flights to the country ICAO seems hell bent on Stoking Fires to Prolong the Airspace Controversy with Somalia.

According to Mohamed A. Mohamoud ‘Barawaani’ the Executive Director of the Somaliland Non State Actors Forum-Sonsaf the overt acts by ICAO are directly related towards scampering thence ultimate Failure of the Turkish hosted Talks.

On the hand the Turkish government which has acknowledged Somaliland as a bastion of peace and security in the Horn region and has Hargeisa hosting an official Consulate dispatched by Ankara its continued position as mediator between the two countries its oft stated drive towards a unified Somalia in its 1980s status is suspect.

.Ironically the two are in a stand-off thus stalling the talks that might never resume ever again if the Somaliland demand for international observers presence thus ensure the SFG implements past and future agreements is not met.

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