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Omar El Bashir Denies Kenya Airways Permission To Overfly Sudan En Route To Israel

Kenya Airways (KQ) is facing new hurdles in its new route to Israel after Sudanese President Omar El-Bashir refused to grant them permission to fly on their airspace en route to Israel.

This is the fourth route that KQ is facing hurdles after in part from New York, Bujumbura and Mogadishu.

The challenges in doing business in new routes is attributable to poor strategy in announcing routes before actual permission is gained.

The direct flight to Israel from Nairobi was announced in November last year and was supposed to start in March this year. KQ was supposed to have a weekly direct flight to Tel Aviv, Israel. In Return, Israel would have its national carrier, Arkia, would make a weekly direct flight to Nairobi.

All the discussions had been concluded and it was up to the two countries to commence the flights, which would pass through Sudan.

Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was quoted saying that he was sure that Sudan would grant the two countries permission to use her airspace.

Read: Kenya Airways Announces a Further Half Year Loss of Ksh 4 Billion

In response to Netanyahu’s sentiments, Bashir has denied the two countries permission.

This is despite Kenya being one of the countries which stood by his country (Sudan) while international community sidelined him over his support for Janjaweed and other rebels in South Sudan.

Bashir is facing growing rebellion at home over his policies to lock the country out of external investors and collaboration from other countries.

During the announcement of the route, it was reported that Netanyahu was trying to establish stronger diplomatic ties with Sudan, but that now seems at stake.

However, Bashir rubbished the possibility of strengthening relations with the middle East country, which he termed as an ‘American friend’ and was one of the countries that had put sanctions on Sudan.

Bashir says that Israel is plotting to destroy all Arab nations around it. He also accused Israel of bombing Khartoum twice, Sudan’s capital.

The International Criminal Court charged him in 2009 with crimes against humanity and war crimes in Darfur, where Sudanese forces killed hundreds of thousands of non-Arab members of tribal groups.

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