Kismayo, Somalia May 15, 2013 ‚Äî A group of persons have been detained at an airport in the southern port town of Kismayo on Tuesday by the local administration, Garowe Online reports.
Confidential sources tell Garowe Online that a flight took off from Mogadishu, with “around 7 to 10 passengers on board” and arrived safely in Kismayo.
On May 13, Kismayo’s local administration denied reports that they forced an airplane to return to Mogadishu. READ: Somalia: Flight to Kismayo ‘forced to return to Mogadishu’
Tuesday’s flight was transporting the same group of persons, such as Mr. Mohamed Amin Abdullahi and Mr. Lugadhere, among others.
However, according to sources, the flight was permitted to land at Kismayo airport after a Djiboutian military officer, who is part of AMISOM peacekeeping force in Mogadishu, called Kenyan-AMISOM troops in Kismayo and asked for landing permission for a flight he was on.
“Once the plane landed, the Djiboutian officer was transported away by fellow AMISOM officers, while the Somali troublemakers from Mogadishu were instructed to return to their flight. However, each of the Somali passengers pulled out documents signed by Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, whereby he [President Hassan] had appointed them all to regional positions,” said a source.
The source added that, for example, Mr. Amin was appointed as Lower Jubba governor, while Mr. Lugadhere was appointed as Kismayo mayor. Local administration officials “collected their documents and jailed them at the airport after they refused to return to Mogadishu”, the source added.
On May 13, Mr. Amin had spoken on VOA Somali Service and condemned the role of Kenyan-AMISOM peacekeepers and rejected the Kismayo local administration, which is an interim administration until the election of Jubaland leadership.
The report could not be independent verified, as phone lines in Kismayo have been disconnected since Tuesday morning. Sources in Mogadishu corroborated that Mr. Amin and Mr. Lugadhere had “flown to Kismayo with a Djiboutian-AMISOM military officer” but could not confirm what happened at Kismayo’s airport.
If confirmed, this development will be President Hassan’s last-minute desperate attempt to stop the Jubaland state formation process.
Meanwhile, Jubaland delegates have been allocated and selected, and are expected to elect the Jubaland president very soon.
President Hassan has rejected Jubaland formation, claiming that the Somali Federal Government was not involved, whilst Jubaland communities have publicly invited Federal Government officials to join the state formation process.
Under Somalia’s federal system, Jubaland will join other existing states such as Puntland in the north, to form part of the Somali Federal Republic.