SOUTH SUDAN CIVIL AVIATION BANS FLIGHTS TO ‘LOST TERRITORIES’
(Posted 01st January 2014)
The latest news coming from Juba is that the Civil Aviation Authority has now banned all flights terminating in or coming from the territories which are under control of forces opposed to the regime in Juba. That according to an aviation source at the international airport includes such places as Bor, Malakal, Panyabor, Akobo and other places as the source was unable to obtain a full listing of banned destinations.
The flight ban is reportedly only valid for commercial flights, though it appears quite blanket, leaving open the question of humanitarian relief and evacuation flights operated by the United Nations or neighbouring countries intent to bring their stranded nationals home.
There is some indication that for such humanitarian flights commanders in control on the ground are given advance information to avoid inbound aircraft to be fired upon, especially as rumours persist that the airforce of a neighbouring country had earlier in the conflict taken sides.
Other local sources claim that the decision was taken to deny the breakaway areas access to flights and to resupply by air, or help faction leaders to escape or relocate by air.
In related news did the source at Juba’s international airport also say that Kenya Airways would resume flights to Juba from Thursday, 02nd January onwards but without saying if all three daily scheduled flights would operate.
Watch this space for breaking and regular news updates from East Africa’s aviation sector.