Somalia’s President Wins Battle with PM over Release of Seized UAE Cash


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has won his battle for preventing the release of $9.6 million seized from the United Arab Emirates in 2018 following Prime Minister’s pledge last week that he would to return it, Universal Somali TV reported on Thursday.

Somalia’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble apologized to the United Arab Emirates over the seizure of its 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, and promised that the money would be returned. read more

The President, in a letter issued hours later, urged the central bank governor not to release the money, saying that it had been smuggled into the country illegally.

Roble has not yet sent a formal letter to the central bank, ordering the release of the UAE money but the government institution has so far received the President’s letter, officials were quoted as saying by Universal Somali TV.

Authorities of the Central Bank of Somalia urged the Prime Minister not to send a letter demanding the release of the cash due to fear that it could be caught in the middle of an escalating power fight that disrupt its operations. Therefore, only the President’s order has yet come into force and it is yet unclear why the Premier has not taken any steps to deliver on his pledge.

Diplomatic row between Somalia and the UAE has dragged on for several years after Abu Dhabi continuously rebuffed attempts to revive relations, demanding an apology over Mogadishu’s seizure of its cash at Adan Adde Airport. Days after Roble had taken the bold step, UAE ambassador attended his first meeting, alongside representatives of other international partners, with Somalia’s political stakeholders.

The Council of Presidential Candidates and some of the leaders of regional states are said to have pushed for the restoration of ties between the Gulf Arab country and Somalia after the Prime Minister’s apology had opened doors for renewed UAE support to the federal government.

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