By Jama 26 June 2023
BELEDWEYNE – Tensions are escalating in Beledweyne, following the announcement of the establishment of a newly formed state and the controversial closure of Ugas Khalifa airport by the former Governor of the Hiran region, Ali Jeyte.
According to reliable sources, Jeyte ordered the suspension of passenger flights at Ugas Khalifa airport from June 24 to June 28, with immediate effect. The sudden disruption has left many passengers stranded and led to a tense atmosphere in the region.
In an interview, a representative from a local travel agency confirmed the halt, attributing it to Governor Jeyte’s directive, stating, “There were no flights today and there will be none tomorrow because of the letter from Ali Jeyte.”
In the midst of this disruptive atmosphere, a meeting was held today in Beledweyne, the capital of Hiran region, where Ali Jayte Osman was declared the interim President of the newly formed Hiran State, an entity not recognized by the existing HirShabelle administration.
Following his election, interim President Ali Jayte pledged to address administrative inefficiencies and security challenges that have long plagued the people of Hiran. He stated, “We will bring together all the communities of Hiran to build a government of their own. We can’t just say that I am the governor of Hiran and will remove Al Shabaab. We have achieved significant strides in terms of security during my tenure as governor. Now that you have elected me as your interim President, we will strive for even more progress.”
Meanwhile, newly appointed Governor of Hiran, Abdullahi Ahmed Maalin Sufurow, backed by the President of HirShabelle, has assumed office and initiated meetings in Beledweyne. The development has essentially resulted in two competing entities vying for control of the Hiran region, deepening the crisis in the area.
These unfolding events in Beledweyn reflect the ongoing internal political unrest in Somalia, with similar instances recently occurring in Barawe and Gedo. The persistent conflicts underline the urgent need for the central Somali government to intervene and address these mounting concerns that risk escalating into larger, potentially violent clashes without effective political resolution.