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Ex-Presidents barred from travelling to Beletweyne

Storyline:National News

Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his predecessor Sheikh Sharif Ahmed were this morning barred from leaving to Beletweyne where they were to deliver humanitarian supplies amid reports their visit would coincide with that of Prime Minister Hassan Khaire.

The duo and a delegation of MPs from the newly formed Forum for National Party (FNP) remain stranded at Aden Adde Airport in Mogadishu. Mohamud Beene Beene (MP) confirmed the incident to Goobjoog News but noted they were yet to know the reasons behind the blockade.

According to Beene Beene, the FNP team was to deliver humanitarian supplies and $200,000 to support the ongoing relief efforts in Beletweyne. Thousands of people have been displaced with 85% of the town submerged in water according to the UN humanitarian agency OCHA.

Prime Minister Hassan Khaaire whose government does not see eye to eye with the opposition politicians is expected to travel to Beletweyne today. The move to bar the opposition group could be aimed at stopping a likely scenario where the two sides meet in Beletweyne.

Today’s development mirrors a similar one in late September when President Sheikh Sharif Ahmed was blocked from travelling to Kismayu to attend the inauguration of Jubbaland leader Ahmed Madobe. The inauguration was later postponed to early October where the opposition attended.

President Mohamud accused the federal government of ‘weaponising the airspace’ for political expediency.