Puntland rejects handling Airspace control of Somalia to Somaliland

Published: December 23, 2014
Puntland rejects handling Airspace control of Somalia to Somaliland
Puntland President Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali

Puntland President Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has criticised the Federal government of Somalia on agreeing to handle the air traffic control to the breakaway region of Somaliland.

Mr Ali welcomed the recent talks between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud and Ahmed Silanyo held in Djibouti, but underlined that his administration is skeptical about some crucial points both sides agreed on, specifically on the air traffic control.

‘’ We are always supporting the talks if the objective is united Somalia, but the airspace control to be handled to Somaliland is unacceptable. It used to be controlled from Mogadishu, or otherwise it should be transferred to Garowe,’’ he said an interview with the VOA.

Delegates from the Somalia federal government and breakaway region of Somaliland agreed to establish a joint committee in Hargeisa to manage air traffic control and equitable revenue sharing during their second round of talks in Istanbul held July last year.

“Agreed the return of the air traffic management from the UN and decided to establish a joint control body that is based in Hargeisa to lead the air traffic control of both sides. It is also agreed that this body will propose a mechanism for equitable revenue-sharing,” read the agreement.

Somalia wants Somaliland to be part of a united country. But the territory, which declared independence from Somalia in 1991 and has been a haven of relative peace amid the chaos and bloodshed in the country’s south, is seeking international recognition. The international community is urging the sides to find a negotiated solution.

However, Dr Gaas added that ‘’Puntland has the constitutional right to be part of any national or international negotiations that may affect it or its interest’’ citing article 53 in the Somalia constitution.

‘’In the spirit of inter-governmental cooperation the Federal Government shall consult the Federal Member States on negotiations relating to foreign aid, trade, treaties, or other major issues related to international agreements.’’

Last week, Somalia’s minister for land and air transport Saeed Qorshel declared that International Civil Aviation Organisation, which has been controlling the airspace of the country since 1996 has agreed to handle over the control to the government and it will be managed from the capital, Mogadishu.

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