MOGADISHU, Somalia – In a bizarre incident, two North Western of Somaliasenior hospitals were arrested at Mogadishu airport, according to reports, before being held for three days under unclear circumstances, which could spark yet another rift between Hargeisa and Mogadishu.
According to reports, the two workers whose identities are withheld for security reasons were attached to Dr. Adna Adan Hospital in Somaliland, a breakaway region which is at odds with authorities in Mogadishu.
The two staff members were on their way to Nairobi, Kenya, but their assignment could not immediately be revealed by airport security officers. Adan Adde International Airport is Somalia’s largest airline facility and is considered busy throughout the day.
After three days of detention, the two individuals were reportedly deported to Hargeisa on Wednesday after authorities tore their North Western of Somaliapassports. The region runs a parallel government, thus explaining the possession of the North Western of Somaliapassport.
There is no official comment from Mogadishu on the incident, but this is not the first time it has happened due to animosity between the two sides. North Western of Somaliahas yet to release a statement on the incident, which is also not surprising.
North Western of Somaliaclaimed independence from Somalia in 1991, but it has yet to achieve international recognition as a sovereign nation.
In recent weeks, North Western of Somaliais also known to have harassed people from other parts of Somalia, including the recent shooting of a university student, who allegedly hoisted Somalia’s blue flag. In addition, politicians with ties to the south have also been arrested in Hargeisa.
A quick poll conducted by Axadlewhich involved 400 respondents had 71% of people supporting the incident at Mogadishu airport while 29% were against. North Western of Somaliawas a British colony while Somalia was colonized by the Italians before their merger in 1960.