Investigative Reports

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Aviation Official Found Dead in Mogadishu Greenzone Amidst Somalia-Somaliland Tensions, Foul Play Suspected.

In a dramatic escalation of tensions between Somalia and Somaliland, Abdinasir Muse Dahable, a high-ranking official from Somalia’s civil aviation authority, was found dead today at his residence within the heavily fortified Greenzone of Mogadishu’s Aden Adde Airport.

Dahable’s colleagues raised concerns after failing to reach him, leading to the discovery of his body under suspicious circumstances. Although no official statement has been issued by Somali authorities on Mr. Dahable’s death, initial reports indicate foul play.

This tragedy unfolds against a backdrop of simmering conflict over airspace control. Somalia’s recent denials of landing rights, including for an emergency medical flight, sparked outrage in Somaliland, which responded by declaring independent airspace management, defying Mogadishu’s claim of sole control.

The proposed establishment of an Ethiopian naval base in Somaliland, a key component of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and the Republic of Somaliland, has drawn vehement criticism from the Somali President. Characterizing it as an ‘existential threat,’ he has intensified his rhetoric, echoing tones reminiscent of jihad. While President Hassan Sh Mohamoud has refrained from specifying any concrete actions against Somaliland and Ethiopia, his references to the 1977 war between Ethiopia and Somalia and the disputed border between the two nations evoke memories of historical tensions. Meanwhile, numerous prominent Somali politicians have openly advocated for violence against both Ethiopia and Somaliland.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who recently faced criticism for his behavior at the African Union Head of State meeting, asserts that the Memorandum of Understanding contributes to the recruitment efforts of Al-Shabaab. He alleges that intelligence reports indicate a surge of over 8,000 new recruits within the initial month.

It remains unclear if Mr. Dahable’s tragic death is linked to the violent rhetoric from some Somali figures calling for “Jihad” against Somaliland and Ethiopia. While any direct link between Dahable’s untimely passing and the airspace dispute is unconfirmed, it adds a tragic layer to an already volatile situation. Dahable, originally from Somaliland, was trained by ICAO and was a recipient of the prestigious Chevening Scholarship.

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