Flights between Mogadishu and Somaliland cancelled due to row

Minister Hashi warns on airspace infringment

Local Air travel between Somalia’s capital Mogadishu and Berbera, was grounded for the second day, after air carriers canceled their flights due to passport row between Somalia government and Somaliland.

Somali Immigration Department has allegedly arrested passengers traveling to Berbera on Thursday, accusing them of using the previous banned Somali Passport.

July 2011, the Transitional Federal Government has officially banned the usage of the Green Passport and ordered the citizens to apply the biometric passport known as E-Passport in the country.

However, Somaliland administration in northern Somalia does not recognize Somalia’s Biometric Passport and instead opted originally used one.

In an interview with BBC, Somaliland Interior Minister Ali Mohamed Waran-ade said earlier October that his government would not allow the public to use the passport.

“We broke away from Somalia, we don’t recognize their passport and they don’t recognize ours,” said Waran-ade, adding, “No one can travel with Somali passport, unless it is the previous one.”

The passport row between Mogadishu and Hargeisa led the cancellation of the flights, upsetting aid workers and local travellers.

No official from both sides has commented on the issue, but air carriers are trying to find a way to continue the flights.