I was not in that flight to Jowhar in that early evening when planes couldn’t land there. But, I was in Nairobi, communicating on Thuraya satphone with Mayor of Jowhar, Mohamed Habeeb (Mohamed Dheere), throughout the evening. Dheere had been arranging enough cars with headlights blazing to light up the entire runway. I agree it was a risk flight too. There was no way Yusuf could return to Kenya as he was deemed extra burden on Kenyans having two presidents in town, blocking their streets traffic when moving around. Remember at time no aircraft could land in any of Somali airports, perhaps, Hargeisa ( I am not so sure), which was no go for Yusuf.
It was a mistake done by the organizers of the President’s trip to Jowhar, making such a delay to fly into Jomo Kenyatta Airport. I could confirm President Kibaki had been at Airport throughout the day with Yusuf, waiting for that flight to take the later to Somalia. Why such a delay had occurred? Later I learned that a merchant of Qat had persuaded the trip organizers that he would pick up Yusuf in the same day after he transports Qat to Somalia. Such a mess and poor judgment. Also recall I was not with TFG at the time. In fact, I was communicating with Mohamed Dheere on the trip on my own to help out. It was me who informed Dheere that the President’s plane had landed in Djibouti, to his much needed relief. ( Above is a cartoon by Penknife, Sunday Nation, on the occasion. It is dated June 19, 2005. I have been keeping in in possession since then).

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: ismailwarsame@gmail.com

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