Somalia’s PM Publicly Apologizes to UAE Over Seizure of Cash At Mogadishu Airport

Somali PM, UAE ambassador

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble on Friday publicly apologized to the United Arab Emirates over the seizure of cash by security staff at Adan Adde Airport in Mogadishu in April 2018, a move that led to the severing of diplomatic ties between the countries.

About $9.6 million in cach was taken from a plane that had arrived from the United Arab Emirates and the UAE government said at the time that it had sent the money to support Somali army in its operations against Al-Shabaab militants. Somali authorities, who had sided with Qatar in a dispute between Gulf Arab nations, claimed the money was smuggled into the country illegally.

Speaking alongside UAE ambassador, Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble promised to return the seized cash to the middle eastern country and hoped that his gesture would revive diplomatic relations after years of hiatus.

Roble also heaped praise on the UAE government for sending the first shipment of aid meant to help people affected by droughts and water shortages in Somalia, months after he had declared a state of humanitarian emergency.

His remarks have come amid a power struggle with the President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who is a key ally of UAE’s arch-rivals Qatar and Turkey, and just 10 days after he said he had survived a coup attempt orchestrated by his rival.

In a letter issued hours later, the President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo ordered the central bank governor not to release the money, arguing that it had been smuggled into the country illegally.

As tensions appear to be escalating between the Horn of Africa country’s most powerful leaders, local radio stations reported this week that the President was mobilizing fresh troops in last-ditch attempts to oust the Premier, using armed force despite warnings by security forces chiefs against troops’ involvement in politics. read more

The Council of Presidential Candidates, a conglomerate of opposition parties welcomed the Prime Minister’s decision and thanked to the Unitd Arab Emirates over the shipment of aid it had sent to help drought-affected Somali citizens.

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