Defence Minister: Farmajo planned to construct hotels on cemetery land


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Abdikadir Mohamed Nur, Somalia’s defence minister, says there were plans to construct hotels in the disputed cemetery land within Mogadishu by Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed alias Farmajo, the former president of Somalia.

In an interesting twist, Nur, a confidant of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, said the commercial hotel was to be done at Blue School in Mogadishu, leading to questions about the intentions, in what the public now terms as 'conspiracy to grab the land'.

According to him, at the time the idea was fronted, scholars opposed the move, arguing that the public land could not be used for commerce purposes. Farmajo served as president of Somalia for 5 years before he lost the election to Hassan Sheikh.

"President Farmajo's government submitted a request to scholars to build hotels on the cemetery land of Blue School. The scholars issued a fatwa rejecting this plan," said Nur.

With resistance from former government officials, the Somali government now plans to construct a Navy base within the land. Somalia is assembling a navy team which would increase surveillance in the deep waters where pirates have been having field days.

"The first visible step will be taken when the cemetery is cleared," he said.

A few months ago, the government announced plans to exhume bodies from the land ahead of the construction of the base. The decision was met with protests from Mogadishu residents who opposed the relocation of the cemetery to make way for a proposed Somali Navy base.

In May, bodies were exhumed from the Bulusia School Cemetery in compliance with the government's directive. The exhumations have been a point of contention, with many residents expressing their dissatisfaction through protests and public outcry.

Scholars in Somalia play a critical role on matters of governance and administration besides giving political directions. Somalia’s complex politics have traditionally been blamed for the delayed development of multisectoral disciplines.


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