By Derrick Kiplagat
The unexpected cancellation of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s visit to the US on Thursday has brought about a lot of questions some blaming poor planning as the reason for the trip cancellation. According to reports, the reason for the cancellation was that the necessary clearances to overfly airspace in a neighboring country may not have been sought.
Reports have moved on to say that when the plane carrying the president entered the foreign airspace; the air controllers were surprised and opened communication with the aircraft. It is not clear what transpired during the communication but soon after the communication, the president’s jet made a U turn for Nairobi.
Sources have revealed that the cancellation was attributed to the long-standing territorial dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea however the state house attributed this cancellation to “Heightened military activity in Yemen.”
President Kenyatta was traveling to Dubai using the official presidential jet, from where he was to connect to Los Angeles in the US by commercial flight. The explanations given by the official communication channel appear to be contradictory because the war in Yemen has been ongoing for the past two months and the authorities in the country reopened the airspace last week after a three-week closure. It is understood that a Kenya airways plane that departed Nairobi 15 minutes after the President’s jet left, made it safely to the destination.
The Government of Kenya has been fully aware of the war situation in Yemen and has been evacuating Kenyans living in that country with those rescued arriving by air last weekend.