A dispute is brewing between Somalia and two peace missions over the decision to close a special airport facility used by the two organizations.
The dispute is between Somalia and the United Nations Relief Mission (UNSOM ) and the African Union Mission in Somalia (Amisom).
The terminal, known as Movcon, was set up at Aden Adde International Airport to handle the handling and movement of troops and diplomats responsible for the two organizations work to make it easier.
But Somalia closed it abruptly on December 21, and ordered everyone to use the airport’s main terminal.
Now the two missions argue that the terminal is from the UN has been set up, which means that it is immune to any business interruption, including the closure or the forcible posting of local personnel.
In a communication from the Somali Foreign Ministry and the intern National cooperation states that there have been “countless immigration protocol violations and violations” in recent months, including reported harassment of Somali airport staff.
After the terminal was closed, both UNSOM and Amisom publicly stated that they would abide by Somalia’s decision.
“We take seriously all concerns that the federal government has regarding UN operations at any time and regret that this order to shut down is abrupt and with minimal prior consultation, “UNSOM said in a statement.
Continuation of Terminal Operations
” We continue to regret that the closure appears to have been triggered by allegations that the United Nations is still aware of Details have been submitted to enable an investigation. Further talks on this matter are planned in the coming days with representatives of the federal government. “
Last Thursday, however, both organizations formally protested to the federal government against the decision, arguing that the closed terminal is now endangering soldiers and diplomats, moving through the airport and carrying equipment such as weapons.
In a diplomatic letter (known as a note verbale) held by the nation, they asked Somalia to “resume” terminal operations “immediately,” to ensure that “our continued partnership for the smooth implementation of the mandates of our organizations.”
“The government’s decision to abruptly close the United Nations / Amisom terminal is not in line with the good cooperation and the harmonious working relationship that the United Nations and Amisom have enjoyed since the start of the mission in Somalia with the host country, e united ”, reads a joint letter from the two groups to the Somalia Foreign Ministry.
Both UNSOM and Amisom have a significant number of employees in Mogadishu. Amisom troops also regularly use the airport to change locations or to handle arriving or departing personnel.
The troops come from Kenya, Ethiopia, Uganda, Burundi and Djibouti.
In The joint letter says urging their check-in to the airport’s main terminal has created congestion that makes staff “instantly identifiable and a conspicuous, valuable target for malicious parties” and could endanger the lives of civilians at the airport.
< h3> Use of own security measures Personnel
Since the establishment of the facility, the United Nations and Amisom have traditionally used it to carry out air transports of an estimated 750 tons per month to other parts of the country and the rotating forces in Amisom and UN – Eliminate workers.
The two missions said Somalia’s decision to close Movcon meant that cargo and passengers would be on the same date al, which could delay the normal flight schedules from Mogadishu.
The five-point letter also warned the operations of the missions, including the address. After the closure of Movcon in Somalia, the federal government announced that it would take over the terminal and deploy its own security guards and civilian technocrats, and accused the missions of impunity, including evading clearance protocols.
UNSOM and Amisom say such deployment must follow the host country pact known as the Status of Mission Agreement (SOMA), and that they should be consulted prior to dispatching personnel.
The SOMA between Somalia and UNSOM says that the facilities established by the United Nations in Somalia regardless of whether they are in Somalia Territory remain, are inviolable and “subject to the exclusive control and authority of the United Nations”.
The SOMA with Africa Anian Union says Amisom troops will have unhindered access to their facilities.
However, it was unclear whether Somalia could stir in the decision, as did Mogadishu. comes and the African Union started disc discussions on the future of Amisom, whose mandate will expire at the end of March.
The two missions have requested a meeting with Somali government officials on the Movcon issue.