The latest diplomatic spat in the Middle East, over Qatar’s alleged ties to terrorism, risks engulfing and destabilizing Somalia, a war-torn Horn of Africa nation struggling to bolster its own fragile democracy after decades of civil war.
On Monday night, Somali civil aviation authorities reported increased Qatar Airways traffic over Somali airspace, according to the Associated Press. At least 15 flights were diverted to use the airspace, an increase from one or two flights a day previously.
This comes after a slew of nations cut diplomatic ties with Qatar on Monday (June 6)—triggering a crisis in the Gulf and north Africa. Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates severed relations with the tiny, oil-rich peninsula, and air carriers including Emirates and Etihad suspended flights. Yemen, the Maldives, and Saudi Arabia joined in, with the latter suspending flights, pulling Qatari troops from the ongoing war in Yemen, and closing both land and sea borders. Egypt and one of the three rival governments in Libya joined the diplomatic row, suspending flights and accusing Qatar of supporting terrorism and extremism—charges denied by Qatar.
- Written by Abdullahi
- Category: Somalia