Somalia Reopens UN Terminal Closed Over Alleged Violations

Adan Adde Airport

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s government has reopened an airport terminal used by the United Nations and African Union missions, which had been closed last month due to “countless violations and breaches of immigration protocols”, Caasimada Online news website reported on Saturday.

Somalia’s Foreign Ministry informed the UN mission in the Horn of Africa nation that the airport terminal known as MOVCON would be “closed until further notice”, listing incidents that it said constituted violations of agreements and protocols. read more

Authorities claimed there were a number of incidents where UN flights landed at Adan Adde Airport in Mogadishu “without prior submission of essential documents, such as the manifest, through the official immigration communication channels”.

There are international flights that use the MOVCON terminal who carry travelers with no or incomplete travel documentation and enter the territory of the Federal Republic of Somalia,” read the letter.

The government said UN contractors “exploit the MOVCON terminal, as well as unofficial gates, to smuggle uncontrolled commodities”.

There have been cases in which immigration staff have been harassed and threatened in the line of duty … (and) immigration staff are not allowed to access UN terminals … which hinders the immigration staff to undertake their duties,” the ministry added.

The move sparked tensions between Somali federal authorities and the foreign missions that used the terminal.

Somali Security Minister Abdullahi Mohamed Nur reversed the decision following talks he had held with UN and AU diplomats at the heavily fortified Halane camp in Mogadishu, according to local media. Details of the meetings have not yet been made public.

It comes as power struggle between Somalia’s President and his Prime Minister has reached new heights over the past days. On Friday, the Premier said he would return $9.6 million seized from the UAE and hours later, his rival ordered central bank governor not to release the money.

Somali Foreign Minister, who had earlier ordered the closure of the UN terminal and the Security Minister, who has reversed his decision in a sign of the heating up power fight are seperately allied with each men.

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