Sunday, 15 May 2016

Somalia fights UN Agency to control their airpace

Winnie Mabel 2 months ago 17527

– UN Agency illegally employs Somali workers to work in Kenya as the former country’s air space controllers
– Kenyan authorities claim they have been issuing student visas to these foreigners after receiving information from the Agency
– Somalia however claims the UN Agency is withholding the correct information about the Somali people, therefore misleading Kenya as well
Details have emerged over how an organization sanctioned by Somalia’s government to control its airspace while based in Kenya have been operating illegally.
According to Daily Nation, Somalia’s airspace management has been in a power struggle between Somalia and United Nation’s International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO).
Apparently, ICAO has been exploiting Somali employees by bringing them to Kenya under student visas and then employing them. This is illegal by Kenyan laws as those on student passes cannot be given employment contracts.
“For the last 20 years, ICAO has been operating Somali airspace out of a small office in Gigiri. We want this office closed and Somalis brought to Kenya illegally to return to their country,” said Gamal Hassan, Somalia’s ambassador to Kenya.
According to Somali government, these illegal employees cannot leave or bring their families to Nairobi because they will be arrested for breaking the lawas they have been working for more than 20 years.
The Kenyan government confirmed that it had been approached by ICAO to issue student visas to nine more Somali staff at the center to train in aeronautical engineering.
This was upon assurances that they will leave the country as soon as their internships were over. Questions have however risen as to how the Immigration offices in Kenya failed to notice these violations.
Immigration boss Gordon Kihalangwa said that these people are given exemptions because they are on internship, but the organization turns and hires them as employees.
“International organizations are supposed to declare their foreign employees to the authorities,” added Kihalangwa.
Somali officials however claim that ICAO has not been submitting full information of their employees, adding that they are being given wrong passes.
“Ultimately, this is a sovereignty issue and ICAO has failed to honor its commitment to eventually allow Somalia to take control of its airspace,” said Hassan as quoted in Daily Nation.
United Nations and the Somali government have had a deal under the Flight Information Service of Somalia which sees to it that the ICAO center manages Somali airspace. This agreement has been extended three times so far.
Now the Somali government claims ICAO breached the arrangement by employing 47 employees illegally.

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