Aviation Official Found Dead in Mogadishu Green zone Amidst Somalia-Somaliland Tensions, Foul Play Suspected

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The tragic death of Abdinasir Muse Dahable remains a poignant reminder of the systemic killing that unfolded during the time when the Somalia government sought to exterminate people of Somaliland origins in 1980s.

Dahable, a high-ranking official from Somalia’s civil aviation authority, was found dead at his residence within the heavily fortified green zone of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde Airport. His suspicious death, amid escalating tensions between Somalia and Somaliland, raises concerns and fuels speculations of foul play.

This incident is situated in the broader context of a conflict over airspace control, with Somalia’s recent denials of landing rights, including for emergency medical flights, sparking outrage in Somaliland.

In response, Somaliland declared independent airspace management, challenging
Mogadishu’s claim of sole control. The controversy extends to the proposed establishment of an Ethiopian naval base in Somaliland, a key component of the Memorandum of Understanding between Ethiopia and Somaliland. The Somali President’s vehement criticism, characterizing it as an ‘existential threat’ and echoing tones of jihad, adds complexity to the situation. While he has not specified concrete actions, references to historical tensions and open advocacy for violence by some Somali politicians contribute to the volatile atmosphere.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud alleges that the Memorandum of Understanding contributes to Al-Shabaab’s recruitment efforts, citing intelligence reports of over 8,000 new recruits within the initial month. The exact connection between Mr. Dahable’s tragic death and the violent rhetoric remains unconfirmed, adding a sorrowful layer to the already complex and volatile situation. Dahable, originally from Somaliland, had received training from ICAO and was a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship.