Somalia: Standoff between AU Peacekeepers and Opposition Forces at Airport


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – A standoff between African Union peacekeepers and opposition forces at Adan Adde Airport in Somalia’s capital risked a serious face-off on Friday after body of late president Ali Mahdi Mohamed arrived home.

Guards of opposition leaders including those of former presidents Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud were refused to enter the airport by the African Union peacekeepers.

The move sparked confusion and briefly disrupted airport work with the opposition forces blocking people including government officials  from entering Adan Adde Airport where a plane carrying the body of late president arrived a short while ago.

In response, AMISOM troops received reinforcements and deployed armored vehicles around the airport, in what people inside the airport feared could lead to a deadly face-off, though it has later been solved and troops have been disengaged.

Opposition leaders have later been allowed to enter the airport and attended minute’s silence to honor the late president Ali Mahdi Mohamed, whose funeral has been held in Mogadishu on Friday.

Somali government officials gave orders to the African Union peacekeepers not to allow opposition presidential candidates pass the airport fence with their security guards, Caasimada Online has reported.

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