Kenya Airways Suspends Flights to Sudan Over Protest Tensions

Kenya Airways Boeing 787-8 Dreamliner shortly before leaving Jomo Kenyatta International Airport for New York City (file photo).

Kenya Airways has suspended flights to Sudan following the "uncertain situation" at Khartoum International Airport owing to protests over that country's government.

Via Twitter on Tuesday, the national carrier said it had suspended flights including those scheduled for the night - KQ 348 Nairobi-Khartoum and KQ 349 Khartoum-Nairobi.

"We are monitoring the situation and will advise when normal operations resume," KQ said.

In April, Kenya Airways suspended flights to Sudan after Khartoum airport was closed temporarily over the political upheaval in that country.

At the time, Kenya Airways head of communication Dennis Kashero told the Business Daily, "What has happened in Sudan is definitely going to affect our plans."

The flights resumed a few days later.

THE PROTESTS

Sudanese nationals have sustained protests since December 2018, when their complaint concerned the government's tripling of bread prices.

Matters worsened in April, when they asked the military to back them in removing President Omar al-Bashir, who had been in power for close to 30 years.

That mission was successful but they now want civilian rule.

The tensions escalated on Tuesday, when military rulers broke up a sit-in outside the army's headquarters in Khartoum, leaving more than 35 demonstrators dead.

The United States called it a "brutal" crackdown on protesters while the Sudanese Professionals Association (SPA) said it was a "bloody massacre".

Diplomats said the UN Security Council would meet behind closed doors on Tuesday to discuss Sudan, after Britain and Germany requested the talks

Additional reporting by AFP

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