Embattled former spy chief Fahad Yasin has secretly arrived in Mogadishu days after being turned away in Djibouti, in what could yet again trigger tough political contests between outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.
Yasin, who was fired by PM Roble a fortnight ago following the alleged death of Ikran Tahlil, a junior employee within the National Intelligence Security Agency [NISA], landed at Aden Adde International Airport in Mogadishu on Tuesday morning, an official confirmed.
Fahad used a private plane, evading a directive to commercial airlines not to carry him. It’s not clear if the chartered plane shared a flight plan with airport authorities prior to landing as required by aviation rules.
Yasin who is now the national security adviser to Farmaajo was turned away on Friday in Djibouti after hours of detention. The Turkish aircraft he was using was forced to return to Ankara before jetting to Mogadishu without his presence.
Authorities in Djibouti had denied claims that the former spy chief was detained at the airport, but Villa Somalia insisted he had been arrested “without reasons”. Reports obtained by Garowe Online confirmed that senior government officials in Mogadishu ordered them to have him blocked.
The officers said Yasin was “the main obstacle” towards Somalia’s electoral process, blaming him for also “fueling” tensions between Roble and Farmaajo. Yasin has often been dragged into every political standoff in the Horn of Africa nation.
It’s not clear how his arrival will be received by his critics but it’s likely to hike tensions in the country. He is one of the main suspects in the murder of agent Ikran Tahlil, whose demise has caused a lot of discomfort in Somalia.
The family of Ikran Tahlil has filed a suit at the Military Court where Yasin and three others are accused of being in contact with Ikran Tahlil before her disappearance and subsequent death. While Farmaajo wants the death investigated by a Commission of Inquiry, Roble wants the case handled by a military court.
So divisive was the death that Roble replaced Yasin with Lt General Bashir Mohamed Jama alias Goobe, but Farmaajo also brought in Yasin Abdullahi, causing confusion. Several stakeholders want the country’s leadership to solve the standoff.
On Monday, the US noted that the standoff between the two leaders could complicate the electoral exercise in Somalia. Further, it noted that Al-Shabaab militants could resurge, a move that could erode gains made so far.
“The United States welcomes both sides’ stated commitment to the electoral process but remains concerned that these elections are already months behind schedule. Any further delay increases the potential for violence and plays into the hands of al-Shabaab and other extremist groups seeking to destabilize the country,” read the statement.
The two leaders, Washington said, should henceforth avoid provocative statements which could trigger emotions. They were also asked to respect the constitution of the country which has been abused “repeatedly”.
“Based on our shared interest to ensure the electoral process moves forward, we call on the President and the Prime Minister to avoid further provocative statements or actions and to resolve their disagreement over personnel appointments and their respective authorities peacefully,” read the statement.