Political tensions soar as revenue dispute shuts down Ugas Khalif airport

Tensions have flared within the HirShabelle administration, resulting in the closure of Ugas Khalif Airport in Beletweyne for the second consecutive day.

A simmering row over revenue collection between senior leaders has triggered the shutdown, highlighting the deepening rift within the regional government.

According to sources familiar with the dispute, HirShabelle Vice President Yusuf Dhabageed and Minister of Transport and Aviation Musa Salad have found themselves at odds over the collection of revenue from the airport.

The exact nature of their disagreement and how the revenue is being utilized remains uncertain at this time.

As a consequence of the discord, only aircraft belonging to the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) are currently permitted to utilize the airport.

This decision has once again placed the facility at the center of political wrangling, as it has previously suffered the consequences of similar disputes within the state.

The closure of Ugas Khalif Airport due to political disagreements is not a new occurrence. In May, during the dismissal of the outspoken Hiiraan governor, Ali Jeyte, he reportedly ordered the airport’s closure. However, it was later reopened after the situation was resolved.

The ongoing revenue collection dispute highlights deeper issues within the HirShabelle administration that need to be addressed to ensure stability and effective governance.

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