Somalia authorities clarify on incident in Zambia embassyBy MICHAEL CHAWE in Lusaka | Sunday, May 6 2012 at 19:41
Somalia government Sunday clarified that the diplomatic row in Lusaka, leading to the temporary closure of the embassy in the country, was caused by a Somali national masquerading as an envoy.
Zambian authorities late Friday closed the embassy after confusion emerged when another “diplomat” was sent in to take up the appointment without the knowledge of the one serving Shirwa Ibrahim.
“It is a very embarrassing situation that we had to disclose our differences at the police station,” Mr Ibrahim, who took up office three months ago, said. According to the ambassador, the man who turned up to claim his post, only identified as Muhammed, was a resident and a member of the Somali-Zambia Friendship Association.
The ambassador also accused Somalis in Zambia of frustrating his government’s operations in the country.
“The Somalia Embassy has been having problems for the past two years because of a group of people calling itself, the Zambia-Somali Friendship Association. 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.”
Mr Ibrahim also blamed the Zambian government for the problems facing his embassy, claiming that some corrupt Somalis based in Lusaka have been gaining access to government departments through “bribes”.
So far, Zambian government has not responded to the allegations.
Currently, Somalia is run by a transitional government and has been categorised as a failed state. It has been without an effective central government since President Siad Barre was overthrown in 1991.
Years of fighting between rival warlords and an inability to deal with famine and disease have led to the deaths of up to over one million people.
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