Somalia: Farmaajo’s ally sneaks into Kismayo just a few weeks after his expulsion

Somalia: Farmaajo’s ally sneaks into Kismayo a few weeks after his expulsion

MOGADISHU, Somalia – A senior adviser to President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo eventually infiltrated Kismayo, the regional administrative capital of Jubaland, from where he was expelled a few weeks ago for claiming he wanted to rig the elections.

Abdi Ali Rage arrived in Mogadishu on Monday, a new move that could spark protests from opposition leaders who have linked him to the theft of elections in Jubaland. He is election advisor to Farmaajo, whose term expired on February 8.

His trip came days after Prime Minister Mohamed Roble sacked NISA deputy director Kulane for banning ex-Governor Gedo from leaving Mogadishu, Somalia. Roble had called for tolerance from government officials, arguing that all interested candidates should be allowed to travel across the country for campaigns.

Recently, Rage was ejected from Kismayo where he had traveled by officials from Jubaland who brought the plane back into the air, forcing the pilot to take it back to Mogadishu. His trip to Kismayo was suspect given the impending local elections.

Several sources confirmed that the plane was denied landing rights, forcing the pilot to turn around in the air, before returning to Adan Adde International Airport in Mogadishu. The plane would later return to Kismayo without Rage a few hours later.

Prior to his cooperation with the authorities in Mogadishu, Rage served as planning minister for Jubaland in the administration of Ahmed Islam Mohamed Madobe, the state’s first president. Madobe disagrees with Mogadishu over the Gedo region.

Despite being a special adviser on electoral matters, Rage is reportedly planning to run for a parliamentary seat in Jubaland. However, he has yet to openly declare his interest, nearly a month before the parliamentary elections kick off.

Although the reason for his profiling by the Jubaland authorities is not yet known, he is believed to be the architect of the current political stalemate between Mogadishu and Kismayo. For months, Farmajo and Madobe hadn’t seen each other in the eye until recently, during the pre-election conference.

“The plane I was traveling in returned to Mogadishu when the pilot noticed that he could not land at Kismayo airport because of me,” said the ex-adviser, accusing authorities in Jubaland of unfair treatment.

The special adviser was due to liaise with Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble, who is in Kismayo for the election talks, which will focus mainly on the elections in Gedo. The prime minister arrived in the coastal town of Kismayo on Wednesday with a litany of FGS officials.

His presence in Kismayo could create further unrest in the Horn of Africa nation. Authorities in Jubaland accused him of collaborating with “enemies” to destabilize the state, which has problems with President Farmaajo’s administration.



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