Home » Faallo »

Police close Lusaka Somalian Embassy

THERE were dramatic scenes at the Somali Embassy in Lusaka when that country’s Ambassador to Zambia Shirwa Ibrahim received another diplomat appointed to take over his job without his recall pre-notice.

Police, that had been alerted, had a tough time stopping a physical altercation that ensued between the two when they clashed at the embassy, located at Plot G3/377A Kabulonga Road, at around 09:00 hours.

Sources at police headquarters confirmed the incident and said no arrests were made because the two aggrieved persons had proof that they were diplomats.

“A complaint was registered at Woodlands police station this morning (yesterday) by a man who identified himself as the Somalia’s Ambassador to Zambia. He said there was a man who was bothering him at the office claiming that he had been appointed by their President (Sharif Sheik Ahmed) to take over his job.”

The source said police officers from Woodlands then accompanied the diplomat to his office where the new diplomat also produced his credentials.

“When the officers went there, the situation got very tense because the two got physical while shouting at each other in their (native) language. The new diplomat refused to leave the office claiming that he was the Ambassador appointed by the President and he had reported for duty. The old diplomat also got angry claiming that the new man was an imposter. It was very embarrassing and shocking,” the source said.

The source said police were unable to arrest either of the two ‘diplomats’.

“It was difficult to make any arrest because those are diplomats fighting for the ambassadorship and even if they showed the officers their documents, it was difficult for them to examine the documents. So the only thing they did was to stop the fight, close the embassy and take both of them for question at Woodlands police.

The source said Woodlands police later transferred the matter to Central Police.

“They were questioned for about 30 minutes and the matter was then reported to Central Police Station. They were letter referred to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” he said.

A check by press time found the Somalian embassy in Kabulonga still closed and the phone calls were being diverted to an automated answering machine.

And police spokesperson Elizabeth Kanjela confirmed the incident.

“I can confirm that there was a situation at the Somalian embassy in Lusaka and our officers from Woodlands police station were sent. There, they found that both were diplomats and as per procedure, we reported the matter to the chief of protocol, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,” said Kanjela.

Somalian Ambassador to Zambia Shirwa Abdullahi Ibrahim (c) talks to a police officer at Woodlands Police Station as the new diplomat (r) walks away - Picture by Joseph Mwenda - postzambia.com

Somalia is a failed state run by a ‘transitional government’ which operates mainly around the capital Mogadishu and backed by African Union troops.

Mogadishu itself is a scene of day-to-day carnage and its coastal areas are awash with pirates who live off huge ransoms from seized ships.

Source: http://www.postzambia.com

Somali envoy blames Zambia for chaos at his embassy

May 7, 2012

SOMALIAN ambassador to Zambia Shirwa Abdullahi Ibrahim (right) has blamed Zambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Friday incident in which another Somali national attempted to unseat him.

SOMALIAN ambassador to Zambia Shirwa Abdullahi Ibrahim

And Ambassador Ibrahim has apologised to the diplomatic community in Zambia over what he described as an embarrassing incident which led to police questioning him on Friday.

Ambassador Ibrahim named the ‘diplomat’ who attempted to overthrow him as Muhammad, a member of the Somali community living in Lusaka’s Chaisa compound.

Woodlands police on Friday picked up the East African envoy together with Muhammad for questioning after the latter claimed that he had been sent to take over the diplomatic position in Zambia.

In an interview from his office yesterday, Ambassador Ibrahim said the incident had dented the image of his government and the embassy.
“It is a very embarrassing situation that we had to disclose our differences at the police station. As a diplomat, I am very sorry.

That should not have happened. But I do have the right to call on the police and the local administration if I feel there is need,” he said.
He confirmed that Muhammad attempted to oust him.

“I called the police to come and take out the person who was causing violence here. So the police came and asked him if he was a diplomat.

Unfortunately, he said ‘yes’. He produced… in Somalia but that is not true. I think those documents are forged,” Ambassador Ibrahim explained.

He said police did not close the embassy, but merely took them for questioning and that business had returned to normal at the offices.

“The police did not close the embassy. As you can see that flag is flying high and I am here working peacefully,” he said.

Ambassador Ibrahim disclosed that the operations of the embassy were being jeopardised by corrupt members of the Somalian community in Lusaka.

“The Somali embassy has been having problems for the past two years because of a group of people calling itself the Zambia-Somali Friendship Association.

These people are murdering the warm relations that exist between the two countries (Zambia and Somalia). They want to take over the embassy and put a member of their group so that they can start using the embassy to facilitate their business transactions with the Zambian government,” Ambassador Ibrahim said.

He said he had reported the incident to his government and that a formal response would be made to the Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
“My government has been dressed down. It has been hurt by that incident which you published in your journal. They will use the diplomatic channels to clarify our role here,” he said.

Ambassador Ibrahim said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was to blame for the problems facing his embassy.

“I want to emphasise that the Ministry of Foreign Affairs must stop dealing with individual members of the Somalian community. On Thursday, I went to see the Chief of Protocol there and his secretary told me that he was in a meeting with Somalian diplomats.

I was surprised to hear that because I am in charge of the Somalian embassy in Lusaka. How can individual civilians gain access into a high office like that one without clearance from the embassy? Even for me as a diplomat, I have to make an appointment before I go to see the Chief of Protocol. I cannot just go to see him,” he said.

Ambassador Ibrahim claimed some corrupt Somalis had been gaining access to government departments through bribes.

“Right now, the Somalian community in Zambia is more popular than the embassy. We have Somalians all over the world and the largest community in Kenya, but they do not behave the way this community behaves in Zambia,” said Ambassador Ibrahim, who reported for duty in Zambia there months ago.

Ambassador Ibrahim said it was not true that the Friday incident was an indication that the Somalian government was week, but proof that the Zambian ministry of Foreign Affairs was tolerating bureaucracy.


Source: http://www.postzambia.com/

Faafin: SomaliTalk.com // Halkudheg:

. Afeef: Aragtida maqaallada iyo faallooyinka waa kuwo u gaar ah qorayaasha ku saxiixan. E-mail Link Xiriiriye weeyey

comment closed after 30 days / Jawaabaha waa la xiray ama waa la joojiyay wixii ka badan 30 cisho.