Somaliland Ministry of Aviation Bested by Its Somalia Counterpart on Airspace Control


Mohamed Abdullahi Salat, Minister of Somalia’s Aviation, following up on diligent communications his predecessors – Qorshell and Jengeli – started with ICAO top officers, appears to have succeeded to convince ICAO to totally ignore Somaliland, the Somalia-Somaliland talks, and the Istanbul Communique’ on joint Somali airspace control and relocate overall Somali airspace management to Mogadishu, the seat of the FGS.

Mr. Salat made several visits to Montreal, ICAO head office, and Nairobi which hosts the Flight Information Service Somalia (FISS) office which oversees aviation and Somali airspace management activities under the auspices of UN project SOM-18/802.


Mohamed Abdullahi Salat Somalia minister with the ICAO Director, Dr. Fang Liu

The last time he visited Montreal, the Somalia minister met with the Director, Dr. Fang Liu (above) and her lieutenants, paying a visit – one of several – to the FISS office in Nairobi on his way back to Mogadishu where he met with Somali technicians and air-controllers currently on duty there. He told them that they should prepare for relocation to Mogadishu in October through to December 2017.

Containers from ICAO shipped to Mogadishu

Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC)Minister Salat’s last visit was based on additional confidence given him by full aviation equipment packed in 3 containers, containing – among others – indispensable HF radios and Controller-Pilot Data Link Communication (CPDLC), worth millions that mistakenly and conveniently – arrived in Mogadishu at the right time to fall in the hands of the FGS. As coincidences do not normally happen as wished for, when wished for, it has been established since then that the containers destined for Nairobi were intentionally diverted to Mogadishu by corrupt ICAO/FISS officers to provide the FGS the necessary leverage to assume control of the Somalia/Somaliland airspace.

ICAO President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, who is Nigerian, is involved in the transfer of unilateral control of Somalia/Somaliland airspace control to Somalia despite the fact that the Istanbul II Communique’ implicitly adjoined that Somali airspace would be a joint effort between Somalia and Somaliland and that the head, managing office will be established in Hargeisa, the capital of the Republic of Somaliland.

ICAO President Dr. Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu

Mr. Aliu, in April, ruled out that no more will Somali airspace management be placed in trusteeship with other countries implying that it was a prerogative right of Somalia’s – meaning Farmajo’s FGS in Mogadishu.

Somaliland Fooled

Farhan Adan Haibeh, the incumbent Somaliland Minister for Aviation, same as his predecessors, has been fooled time and again by ICAO and FISS. He, and the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Dr. Saad Ali Shireh, utterly failed in protecting Somaliland interests.

Minister Haibeh, ridiculing Somaliland stand on its sovereignty and non-acquiescence to Somalia political and/or economic domination, secretly met with the FGS’s own Minister Salat under shady cirumstances in Nairobi a few days ago. An obvious outcome was that Minister Salat leaks to the media that he won and Somali airspace will be controlled from Mogadishu where current FISS management and Somalia/Somaliland will move to in October.

Minister Salat, consolidated his newly found confidence with new deals reached with his Kenyan counterpart, too, which included direct flights of Kenya Airways between Mogadishu and Nairobi – a fact that gives Somalia further leverage over its claims of being a ‘central government’ for a Somalia that includes – in the FGS/international estimation – the unrecognized Republic of Somaliland.

Minister Haibeh hid that fact from the Somaliland public. Somaliland media, busy on more mundane political issues closer to home, did never get a whiff of the high treason perpetrated under its very nose by minister Haibeh.

It was only in June this year that Minister Haibeh, returning from Nairobi, vehemently denied that Somaliland ceded control over to Mogadishu. It appears he was lying through the teeth.

If the fact had been known, it is certain that he and his conspirators would have been publicly lynched as none can defend that Somaliland ministers meet with Somalia Ministers outside officially announced, internationally chaperoned bi-lateral talks in fear that irreparable damage will be inflicted on the course of Somaliland’s quest for international, diplomatic recognition.

It remains to be seen how Minister Haibeh and Minister Saad Shire of Foreign Affairs can wriggle out of this scandal – or how Kulmiye and its Behi can safely escape the backlash and not lose the upcoming presidential elections.

By Jimale Madar