By T. Roble
The Federal Government is weaponizing the control of the airspace for political expediency, former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has said as his predecessor lashed out at Farmaajo’s administration for violating rights of citizens.
Responding separately to the decision by authorities in Mogadishu to bar ex-president Sheikh Sharif Ahmed, the two leaders said the government did not have any rights under the constitution to deny citizens their rights of movement.
‘It’s a sad situation the government uses the management of the air space as a political weapon that can have a serious ramification on the political stability and the unity of the country,” Mohamud said in a statement.
Mohamud who handed over power to President Mohamed Farmaajo February 2017 said it was unfortunate that after more than three decades of struggling to return the control of the country’s airspace back, the government was now using it to meet political ends.
“Somalia has been waiting almost 30 years to take control of its airspace,” the former leader added.
Separately, Himilo Party whose chairman is Ahmed also voiced its protests against the decision terming it a violation of law.
“The action by the government of Somalia is against human dignity and the Constitution of Somalia and freedoms of citizens,” the party said in a statement. It called on the government to rescind its decision and allow Somali citizens to travel anywhere in the country without hinder.
But even as the two faulted the government, more stiff measures were underway. The Civil Aviation Authority ordered airlines Monday to cancel all flights to Kismayu until September 26 when the inauguration ceremony of Jubbaland president Ahmed Madobe ends.
The directive means Madobe might not have the audience of senior political leaders among the former heads of state and Federal Member State presidents since the only viable mode of transport is by air.
NEW BATTLE LINES
As Farmaajo departed Mogadishu for New York to make his first show at the UN General Assembly, back home, a new fault-line was fast opening up. His administration which has had ceaseless fights with the Federal Member State leaders seems to have created another political enemy line-former heads of state.
President Sharif Ahmed picked Farmaajo from Buffalo in the U.S in 2011 to be his Prime Minister, a position he served for less than a year before he was hounded out in a deal in Kampala that saw the former House speaker and political maverick Sharif Sheikh Adan secure his stay in office.
Adan was forced to resign as president of South West state last November in a fierce political fight that saw the Federal Government install its preferred candidate as leader.