Uhuru makes unannounced trip to Mogadishu amid lockdown
President Uhuru Kenyatta has arrived in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu for the inauguration of new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed.
His arrival was reported by State House Spokesperson Manoah Esipisu through his Twitter handle.
President @UKenyatta has arrived in Mogadishu for the inauguration of new Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed
— Manoah Esipisu MBS (@MEsipisu) February 22, 2017
Mogadishu is under security lockdown, with roads closed and commercial flights cancelled ahead of the president’s inauguration.
Widely known by his nickname Farmajo, the president will be sworn-in at a ceremony held in the highly-secured airport zone to avoid an attack by the Al-Qaeda linked Shabaab group which has threatened a “vicious war” against the new government.
According to AFP. “All major roads and streets inside and outside the capital were closed down on Tuesday night, movement is restricted and only the vehicles of government officials are allowed to move.”
Schools and businesses were also closed in a similar lockdown to one seen two weeks ago when lawmakers gathered in an airport hangar to elect Farmajo.
In a sign of the challenges facing the new administration, a car bomb at a busy market killed 39 people on Sunday.
Somalia has not had an effective central government since the collapse of Siad Barre’s military regime in 1991, which led to decades of civil war and violent anarchy.