Radio Erena: 30 April 2015
A Kenyan plane was forced to return back to Nairobi, after it was given warnings by the Eritrean air defense forces.
The Kenyan plane, which flew in via Ethiopia carrying President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya on board, was forced to return back after it infiltrated the Eritrean sovereign air territory last Thursday the 23rd of April in the evening hours. Consequently, President Kenyatta was forced to cancel his visit to the United States, confirmed Radio Erena sources.
There are reports that the Kenyan plane was forced to return back to Kenya not because of the warnings from the Eritrean air defense forces but because of the high safety risks of flying over the Yemeni air zone caused by the crisis in Yemen.
Yemen’s air zone has been abandoned by many air carriers due to the air strike and civil war in the country.
Kenyan media pointed out that the President’s sudden return to the country has shocked the country’s high administration officials and military commanders, who had sent him off at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport.
Although an official permission has to be granted by the Eritrean Civil Aviation Authority before any plane passes through the Eritrean air territory, little is known why the Kenya Civil Aviation Authority did not make any request prior to the flight. The Kenyan government states it is conducting an investigation on the matter.
The relations between the two countries haven’t been that good. It became worse when Kenya ordered two Eritrean diplomats out of the country for an alleged involvement with the Somali terrorist group – Al Shabab. Apart from this, Kenya was one of those African Union member states, along with Uganda and Ethiopia that rallied for an air embargo on Eritrea.