Air-Transport in Somalia

I am not sure whether you are fully familiar with air-transportation in Somalia now, and particularly then, in the year 2000. It is completely dominated by foreign pilots and foreign charter planes. Somali pilots are almost non-existent here, and nowhere to reach them for advice momentarily when you need them. Basically, then there were no resources available to us. We knew airport conditions in Ceelbare in Bakool Region because we had people on the ground there. But, who could predict the situation in Bardaale? The Kenyan pilot didn’t tell us that he had lost the way until he landed in Bardaale. As I got off the aircraft alone because I left others inside for security reasons, I found myself distributing pieces of cigarettes to the militiamen as a relief worker on humanitarian mission. In the drama, I was aware that each militiamen was watching at my personal items I was wearing like the watch, shoes, suit, eye-glasses etc to grab once I was eliminated. While throwing pieces of cigarettes at mob-like militia surrounding me, I was spying for information about whose militiamen they were. Surprisingly, militia commanders weren’t forthcoming with this info, and finally discovering the fact, let two of them go onboard the plane to greet the head of our delegation, the late Abdullahi Yusuf, then President of Puntland State of Somalia.

Author: Warsame Digital Media WDM

About the blogger: This blog is associated with the former Chief of Staff in Puntland State Presidency, 1998-2005. He also worked with the UN and World Bank Joint Secretariat for Somalia’s Re-construction and Development Program (RDP), 2005-2006, as a Zonal Technical Coordinator for Puntland and later as National Aid Technical Coordinator with the Transitional Federal Government of Somalia and European Union. He is now an independent political analyst and commentator on current issues and occasionally gives historical perspective on modern Somalia’s politics. He lives and works in Toronto, Canada. He can be reached at:

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