The Forum for National Party (FNP) coalition has called for a commission inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the travel of its leaders to Beletweyne Sunday noting the conflicting directions to the pilot put their safety at risk.
The coalition led by former presidents Sheikh Sharif Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said in a statement the attempted blockade against their travel and subsequent orders to the pilot were not only a violation of law but a threat to safety.
“FNP calls for an independent commission of inquiry into the incident as well as the nature and consequences of the continued weaponization of the aviation authorities to punish those who dare to harbor different political views than those in power,” the statement read in part.
The political coalition also called on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) to investigate the incident noting it ‘compromised the safety of the passengers mid-air for purely political reasons’.
According to the statement, the FNP leaders among them ex-presidents Mohamud and Ahmed arrived at 7am but the airlines agents informed them they had received instructions from Beletweyne to halt the flight until further notice but the Beletweyne team distanced itself from the statements upon calls by the FNP side.
At 8am, FNP said the Prime Minister’s security detail arrived at the airport as the PM was to travel to Beletweyne but later cancelled the plan. The plane was given the greenlight to proceed at 11.15am but after the aviation officials said the airport in Beletweyne was ‘wet’.
Once airborne, the pilot was informed the airport was unfit for landing but about 30 minutes later, the pilot advised the passengers to disregard the warning.
The FNP coalition said the airport in Beletweyne was ‘dusty as a desert’.