Following hot on the heels of yesterday’s mortar attack in Mogadishu while the formal handover between the President Elect and outgoing President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud took place, a moratorium on flights has been issued for the swearing in ceremony taking place next Wednesday of the new Somali President.
Yesterday’s attack killed at least two young children when one round hit a residential house not far from the Presidential Palace.
The formal swearing in and inauguration of newly-elected Somali President Abdullahi Farmajo next Wednesday will see Mogadishu turned into a fortress. Information received suggests that no air traffic other than flights carrying VVIPs invited from other countries will be allowed to land at the international airport, to reduce any risk of airborne incidents.
Mogadishu, despite several security cordons, has been the scene of several suicide and car bomb attacks on hotels, restaurants, leisure spots for locals, and government offices over the past two years, at times with significant casualties.
The rise in such terror strikes is often attributed to complacency among foreign troops but largely blamed on the failure of the international coalition to decisively defeat Al Shabab and wrest their remaining territory from them through a coordinated ground, air and sea attack on their positions.
With a new President, who was a former Prime Minister, coming into office now it is hoped that the security forces can get new directions and rid the region of this pest called Al Shabab, which also continues to pose a security threat to the wider region from Ethiopia to Burundi and from Kenya to Uganda, all countries with troops in Somalia.
Travelers booked on flights to Mogadishu next Wednesday should consult their respective airlines about details when they can reach their destination or else fly out of Mogadishu on subsequent days.