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Gamal Hassan, a member of Roble Caretaker Cabinet has received cool reception at Garowe Airport today. The Federal minister of Planning and International Cooperation was on his way to Dhahar in Sanaag Region from Mogadishu to seek re-election.

The poor relationships of Puntland with former president Farmajo have spilled over to this incident, where a number of arrests were reportedly made among a group of persons trying to welcome the minister at Garowe Airport. Despite this incident, officials of Puntland Administration had received Gamal Hassan on arrival at Garowe Airport, put into VIP Hall with his vehicle at doorsteps.

Observers said the minister was targeted for his real or perceived anti-Puntland Government position or sentiments within the Federal Government understood as representing the views of Farmajo towards President Deni’s Administration. The most harmful to the minister’s reputation in Puntland, however, was his reported resistance to the construction of Gara’ad Port on the shores of Indian Ocean in Mudugh Region of Puntland State.

On his way to Dhahar via road, Minister Hassan had had lunch in his honor with Boqor Burhan in the town of Qardho, Karkaar Region. He did receive a warm welcome, though, in Dhahar, his constituency.

The incident in Garowe today involving the minister’s arrival may create hard feelings between Garowe and Dhahar for the way forward. But, given the fact that it is election campaign time, similar incidents should be better avoided in the future.

(This BREAKING NEWS has been updated since posting.)

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