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Somalia to suspend flights on Farmajo inauguration day

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President-elect Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo (left) and outgoing President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud shake hands at Villa Somalia in Mogadishu on February 11, 2017. PHOTO | ABDULKADIR KHALIF 

By ABDULKADIR KHALIF in Mogadishu

Posted  Thursday, February 16   2017 at  14:07

Somalia government has announced that it will suspend flights to Mogadishu next Wednesday when the new president will be sworn in.

The Transport and Civil Aviation ministry, in a statement on Wednesday, said commercial flights will not be allowed to and from Aden Adde International Airport on February 22, the inauguration day.

“The only exception to the suspension is flights that will be used by the dignitaries from the international community attending the inauguration ceremony on February 22,” the ministry said in statement.

President-elect Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo, will officially take over the Villa Somalia, the residence and office of the president, after the swearing-in ceremony.

Mr Farmajo was elected on February 8 at a heavily guarded airport hangar in Mogadishu by the bicameral parliament consisting of the 275 MPs and 54 senators.

Meanwhile, outgoing President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud has Thursday handed over the responsibilities of the presidential palace to Mr Farmajo, ending his stay at the Villa Somalia.