By Calvin Osiemo
After President’s Uhuru Kenyatta aborted trip to the US, the Eritrean Government has come out strongly distancing itself from accusations that they denied the Presidents’ plane to fly over the Eritrean airspace which made the trip unsuccessful forcing the President to land back to the country. The permission is said to have been granted within a matter of 20 minutes according to Eritrean government officials. The President’s plane was headed to Dubai via Eritrea where the President was supposed to board a commercial plane to Los Angeles in the United States of America for the Milken Institute Global Conference. Eritrean Embassy spokesperson Beyene Russom said his country had granted the Kenyan Air force jet entry and exit permits but the Presidential jet didn’t reach the Eritrean airspace.
“We are protesting formally because this is completely false information that Eritrea did not allow the Kenyan plane passage. The aircraft was, in fact, turned away in Ethiopian airspace,” Mr. Beyene said.
In what seems to be arousing mixed reactions from the public on how logistics for the President’s trip to the US were laid down, statements from the Presidency earlier indicated that the cancellation of the travel was as a result of high military activity in the Yemeni airspace. However, it was later revealed that the Presidents plane was not meant to use the Yemeni airspace but rather to pass through Ethiopia, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia and then the United Arab Emirates where the President would then take a commercial plane from Dubai to the US.