International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), UN agency
specialized in aviation, must know that Somalia has no formal government that
controls or functions across its territory in last thirty years. It is
unfortunate that the regime in Mogadishu is not on the right path to recovery
until now. The government institutions including the airports don’t function
according to international standards.
On 12th Dec 2018, the UK government submitted
report to the UN Security Council over the corruption and lack of discipline in
the Somalia Army, including high-ranking officers linked to Al-Shabab. The report
highlighted that Al-Shabab, Al-Qaeda linked terrorist group in Somalia, purchase
arms and ammunition from the army including sophisticated weapons. The African
Union Forces (AMISOM) and Turkish Forces, along with international community,
are equipping and training the Somalia Army, however, many of these arms and
trainings are ending up with Shabab. There are many well-trained officers
The report recommended that salaries of the Somalia Army to
be increased or paid regularly to reduce the need of ‘Weapon-For-Money’ which
is allowing Al-Shabab to purchase directly from the army officers, or in many
occasions through middlemen.
Al-Shabab is winning the sympathy and support of the
civilians in Mogadishu, where many residents of Mogadishu seek justice in the
courts run by Al-Shabab due to corruption on government institutions. Chairman
of Banadir Appeal Court Judge\ Abshir Omar Abdullahi announced that the
government arrested two citizens who pursued justice in Al-Shabab courts. The
government courts in Mogadishu are corrupted, because always the richer wins
the case, and government does not control in many areas to execute the court
In other hand, Al-Shabab courts are not corrupted and no one
can oversee or reject the decision of the court regardless of where the citizen
lives in Somalia.
Al-Shabab openly organize public speeches and Zakat
distribution concerts at Bakara Market of Mogadishu. The government remains
helpless over the group’s public appearing. Oct 2018, the most senior figures of Al-Shabab
participated in Zakar distribution at Bakara Market, where every poor citizen
got $200 as financial support from the group.
Zakat was collected from the businesses including the rich in Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab penetrated in every government sector including
the presidential palace a.k.a Villa Somalia. The group have extensive presence
at ADEN ABDULLE Airport, which allowed them to bomb DAALLO airline. The
surveillance camera showed that many security officers at the airport allowed
the bomb to enter the aircraft. Al-Shaban
assassinates any government officer who opposes their agenda, as they killed
Eisa Bayle, a high-ranking officer at the airport.
Today, the Somalians are not allowed to have access to the
sensitive areas of AMISOM and US Army bases, in addition to diplomatic mission
offices because Al-Shabab uses Somalians to infiltrate.
Somalia’s Intelligence agency (NISA) is another hub for
Al-Shabab operations, where the information of bombings is kept secret and
released after incident. Reports showed that NISA was fully aware of ZOBA
building bombing that killed 500 innocent people in the heart of Mogadishu.
Al-Shabab ask recruits to join the Somalia like the case of
soldier Ismail Abu Bakr who was former Somalia Army Officer. Bakr joined the
intelligence services wing of Al-Shabab called ‘Amniyat’, and currently member
of the Somalia Army where he operates at Wanlaweyn Area. He is one of the
thousand officers who are members of Al-Shabab but working for the government.
Despite the poor security, ADEN ABDULLE Airport has safety
standards that is very little to accommodate international airlines. The
firefighting system proved to be below international standards after last
year’s fire took many hours to control. The fire loss value is unclear until
today. The civilian employees, and military helped to put out the fire with
their bare hands.
The international community particularly the western
countries and Turkey are working tirelessly to ensure effective government in
Mogadishu, in addition to African forces who are battling the Al-Shabab. We can
say the world is working hard to help the regime but very little is
materializing on the ground due to incompetency and corruption.
Even though the security in Somalia is very fragile
including airport, corruption, incompetent staff and poor aviation standards at
ADEN ABDULLE Airport, in addition to ability of Al-Shabab to fire rockets to
Knowing all the above facts and sensitive airspace, there
are reports saying the ICAO is transferring the control of the airspace of the
Republic of Somaliland and Federal Republic of Somalia to Mogadishu
If ICAO attempts to transfer the airspace control to Farmajo
regime, such act is direct violation to the international aviation safety and
agreement between Somaliland and Somalia in Turkey. Al-Shabab and other terrorists groups in
Mogadishu could easily breach the ADEN ABDULLE airport security.
By\ Abdulaziz Al-Mutairi
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Horndiplomat editorial policy.
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