In what could further cause tensions in Somalia, the federal government on Monday suspended all flights to Kismayo Airport, hours to Sheikh Ahmed Madobe’s inauguration.
The former Ras Kamboni Brigade commander, a close ally of Kenya and KDF, controversially won Jubaland presidential elections in August.
Despite Nairobi recognising his victory, federal leader President Mohamed Farmaajo rejected the outcome, accusing Kenya Defense Forces of allegedly imposing Madobe.
The suspension of flights effective Monday (today) to Thursday 26th, is reportedly a wider scheme to prevent Madobe’s allies from attending. Initially, the government had also suspended direct flights to Kismayo Airport.
“The Somalia government has suspended all flights to Kismayo in the period between Sept. 23-26. The inauguration of Jubaland leader Ahmed Madobe is on Sept 26,” reports indicate.
On Sunday, the government blocked former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed from travelling to Kismayo for Madobe’s inauguration.
Kenya has been backing Madobe’s government since his victory in 2013. He helped KDF troops run over Al-Shabaab militants in the Kismayo city a year earlier.