As suspected bomb misfires on board a Dallo Airlines craft outbound Mogadishu immediately in the heels of a ban on flights emanating Somaliland by Somalia federal government Authorities
By: Yusuf M Hasan
Somalilandsun – The man sucked out of a Somali airliner after an inflight explosion has been identified as Abdullahi Abdisalam Borleh, an elderly Somali national, Somalia officials said Friday.
Investigators suspect he carried a laptop computer with a bomb concealed onto the plane, according to a source familiar with the investigation.
The source said Borleh apparently knew precisely where to sit and how to place the device to maximize damage. The source said, given the placement, the blast likely would have set off a catastrophic secondary explosion in the fuel tank had the aircraft reached cruising altitude.
The source added that investigators believe the attack was orchestrated by the al Qaeda affiliate Al Shabaab, although they are not certain that Borleh was a direct member of the group. No group immediately took responsibility for the act.
On Tuesday, 2nd February, a Dallo Airlines, A321-100, registration SX-BHS performing flight D3-159 from Mogadishu (Somalia) to Djibouti (Djibouti) via Hargeisa (Somaliland) with 74 passengers and 7 crew, made emergency landing in Mogadishu after a massive explosion ripped through its fuselage open.
Suspicious or not the resulting statements made by company officials and Somalia Federal government-SFG are not only contradictory but completely opposite of revelations by surviving passengers
According to Airline officials Flight D3159 which departed from the Aden Ade International airport in Mogadishu at 11:20am o 2nd Feb turned back 20 minutes after takeoff allegedly after an oxygen tank that exploded but onboard were Three passengers who were brought back with injuries, with one of them in a critical condition.
As for the SFG the “Dallo airlines plane with 74 passengers on board from Mogadishu to neighbouring Djibouti, had to make an emergency landing due to a technical problem” the Somalia Minister of Transportation and Civil Aviation, Ali Jama Jangeli told a press briefing in Mogadishu.
”The aircraft developed a mechanical fault and the captain decided to turn back and managed to land the plane safely. Investigations are still going on and we will inform the public about the final outcome,” said Mr. Jangeli as reported by Horseed Media
“I think it was a bomb,” said pilot, Vladimir Vodopivec, who was quoted by Belgrade daily Blic. “Luckily, the flight controls were not damaged so I could return and land at the airport. Something like this has never happened in my flight career. We lost pressure in the cabin. Thank God it ended well,” the 64-year-old pilot said.
Flight D3159 departed from the Aden Abdulle International airport at 11:20am local time before turning back 20 minutes after takeoff. Three passengers sustained injuries, with one of them in a critical condition, officials confirmed.
But according to passengers Flight D3159 was forced back to land after a massive explosion ripped through its fuselage open dislodging an elderly passenger and injuring three others.
While none of the above facts are yet to be ascertained independently the suspected attempt to rip Flight D3159 off the skies or technical problem did happen but coming in the heels of a ban on flights emanating from or heading to Hargeisa by Somalia authorities is eyebrows raising.
And in covert but apparent reaction to the Flight’s disaster thinly veiled as a rejoinder to the SFG ban on Airlines plying the Hargeisa route Somaliland authorities revealed having no bones to grind with similar emanating from Somalia while reiterating that decisions made in Mogadishu are inconsequential.
“Whatever is banned or unbanned in Somalia is entirely internal to her and has nothing to do with Somaliland an independent and sovereign country in its own rights” said deputy interior minister in charge of security Mohamed Muse Diriye during a press briefing in Hargeisa.
According to a directive from Somalia’s head of Immigration and Naturalization chief, Abdilahi Gafow Mahmud, all domestic flights plying between Hargeisa and Mogadishu have been ordered to temporarily stop operations this February.
Unashamedly the Gafow issued directive informed that the flight ban was in reaction to an ongoing crackdown of illegal immigrants in Somaliland whose administration says their country is inundated by foreigners who live and work illegally thence a security risk.
In a recent strongly worded statement on new Security and Immigration guidelines issued by the administration of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo, the state warned that the continued and carte blanche prevalence of large numbers of foreigners living and working in Somaliland illegal shall no longer be tolerated.
Inimitably thought to target only Ethiopians who are over 85% of illegal’s in Somaliland the interior ministry jumpstarted the crackdown that saw a number of Somalia nationals nabbed as well, prompting minister Mohamed Ali Waran’ade to reveal that even those from neighbouring Somalia must legalize their stay in lieu of arrest, arraignment in court, imprisonment and subsequent deportation just like any other foreigner.
State officials in Mogadishu who continue to regard Somaliland as a region of Somalia thence part and parcel of the country thus in effect a subject under federal authority that has tacit approval from most western powers is a flagrant disregard to the2001 unanimous decision by Somalilanders to reclaim its sovereignty lost five days after gaining independence from its colonial master Great Britain in 1960.
Termed by over 90% of nationwide voters as neither revocable nor negotiable withdrawal from union with Italians Somalia which continues to regard again with tacit financial and material approval, but devoid of an iota of jurisdictional authority, the democratically elected administration of President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo in Somaliland as a regional authority under the Mogadishu based, Foreign propped and AMISOM guarded security Somalia Federal Government, quest for her international recognition over two decades later has been the casualty.
This positional divergence is currently encumbering the internationally sanctioned but stalled talks hosted by Turkey to resolve political differences between Somalia and Somaliland that have degenerated into which negotiating team can atop Ankara rooftops shout loudest “Airspace is in our control” rather than serious discussions with intent to establish peaceful, legal and politically correct separation Hargeisa and Mogadishu authorities from 1960 union thence respected, acknowledged and observed by the two countries plus IC thence official cessation of the five pointed dream “Greater Somalia” to have encompassed NFD-Kenya, Somalia, Djibouti, Ogden region-Ethiopia and Somaliland.
While the case for Somaliland recognition is an open and shut one, having been in its current borders that were mapped in the 1800s and as demarcated by Great Britain, Italy and Ethiopia, was for five days a bona-fide member of the United Nations between 26th June to 1st July 1960 before entering into a voluntary union with Somalia in pursuit of the miserably failed Somaliwein-Great Somalia dream, an Al-Shabaab harassed President Hasan Sheikh whose SFG under protective security of over 20,000 African troops and specialized combat support from the USA, UK and the EU controls less than 60% of Mogadishu, his administrative seat and the ongoing fragmentation through establishment of renegade regional administrations and to divert attention pours salt on the Somaliland Achilles tendon in the guise of the Khatumo State Secession.
Though the issue of whether Somalia citizens need to secure visas while entering Somaliland is the current scapegoat to the tensions between the two neighbouring countries whose 1960 voluntary later turned fateful union came to an abrupt end in 1991 after a brutal civil war, the proposed Khatumo state purportedly to be hived-off parts of East Somaliland is a distressing issue that has seen the administration of president Silanyo accuse the SFG of funding the secessionist who are led by a Mogadishu Based Member of Parliament and American Citizen Prof Ali Khalif Galayd.
Whatever the case maybe that led to the Flight D3159 calamity a report by the Hawdian is categorical that the Dallo Airlines craft was bombed by Mogadishu Administration to raise tensions on the very day that the Somaliland armed forces were commemorating 22nd anniversary in the eastern town of Oog with close proximity to Buhoodle where the SFG fronting Khatumoist are undertaking warlike activities geared towards derailing prevailing peace-fully co-existence among resident communities.
-In the meantime the battle of wits continues and casualties in one form or another expected before either Hargeisa or Mogadishu succumbs thence political supremacy of one over the other, for Somalia being reunification and Somaliland being the ultimate unshackling of any association with Somalia apart from border straddling its eastern regions of Sool ad Sanaag.
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Watch events aboard the fateful Dallo airlines Flight D3159