Tensions were high at Garowe International Airport in Puntland on Wednesday, as authorities stopped Somali President’s Advisor for Trade and Investment, Khadar Abdirahman Farole, from boarding a flight to Mogadishu. Khadar, who is also the son of a former Puntland leader, was believed to be headed to the capital to attend crucial government meetings.
The move by authorities came just days after a regional prosecutor issued an arrest warrant for four politicians, including Khadar, over allegations that they had instigated violence aimed at disrupting a controversial vote. The accusations center around the recently concluded election process in Galmudug State, which some claim was marred by irregularities and vote tampering.
While the arrest warrant was met with a degree of controversy, it is unclear why Khadar was stopped from traveling. There have been reports of clashes between supporters of the politician and Puntland security forces stationed at the airport.
The decision has been met with condemnation from some quarters, with critics accusing local authorities of meddling in national affairs. Others have raised concerns about the long-term implications of such actions, arguing that they could further destabilize the already fragile political situation in Somalia.
Puntland is a semi-autonomous region in northeastern Somalia, and its relations with the federal government in Mogadishu have often been fraught with tension. Wednesday’s incident is likely to be seen as another flashpoint in this ongoing dispute.
The situation remains fluid, and it is unclear what impact Khadar’s detention will have on future government proceedings. However, it is clear that tensions in Somalia continue to run high as the country grapples with significant political, social, and economic challenges.