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US protests ‘unacceptable treatment’ of security team by Somali security personnel

Storyline:National News

GOOBJOOG NEWS|MOGADISHU: The US embassy in Mogadishu has protested what it termed as ‘unacceptable treatment’ of its security team by Somali close protection personnel during a farewell event mid-this month.

A letter addressed to Foreign Affairs Minister Abshir Huruse dated May 24 noted that embassy security staff were ‘assaulted members of our security team, and threatened violence’ by the protection personnel of Prime Minister Hamze Barre and South President Abdiasis Lafta Gareen.

“Both the PM’s and Southwest State President’s security teams tried to push their way through the entrance, disregarding agreed upon security procedures,” interim
chargé d’affaires Timothy Trinkel said in the letter. “Both security teams pulled firearms and physically assaulted three of our security team members. Staffers from both delegations demanded special treatment and escalated tensions.”

The incident happened on May 17 during a farewell party for Ambassador Larry André who had just finished his round of tour in Somalia.

Noting that the Somali government was obligated by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations to protect diplomatic staff, Trinkel said the confrontation put the embassy security team at ‘risk of physical and psychological harm.’

He added that the embassy will be raising the matter with the Somali ambassador in Washington.