MOGADISHU, Somalia — Somalia’s security minister has ordered heads of civil aviation and immigration authorities to deny African Union envoy Francisco Madeira entry into the capital Mogadishu.
Minister Abdullahi Mohamed Nur instructed Mogadishu Airport immigration to invalidate Amb. Madeira’s diplomatic permit and ordered MOVCON terminal to be closed until further notice.
On Wednesday, Somali prime minister Mohamed Hussein Roble declared Madeira persona non grata and ordered him to leave the country within 48 hours on Wednesday.
This comes after the Chairperson of Commission of the African Union, Moussa Faki Mahamat, rejected PM Roble’s decision to expel Madeira.
In a statement, Mahamat expressed his concern at PM Roble’s move regarding the status of his Special envoy to Somalia, Ambassador Francisco Caetano Madeira.
Mr Mahamat notes with appreciation for Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo in his move to protest against his premier’s decision.
He also urged the government of Somalia to continue its working relationship with envoy Madeira in particular, and the new AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) in general.
On Saturday, Somali opposition alliance has voiced dismay at African Union’s decision to back its envoy Madeira.
The opposition also reiterated their “full support and solidarity” with Somali PM Mohamed Hussein Roble on Madeira’s expulsion.
The opposition urged African Union chief, Moussa Faki Mahama to withdraw his statement defending his envoy Madeira and recognise persona non grata issued by PM Roble .
They also accused Madeira of “blatant interference in Somalia’s internal affairs and including partisanship.”
However, African Union seems to be defiant to appoint a new envoy to Somalia and AU Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS).