Garowe Online (Garowe)

Somalia: President Hassan's Flight Undergoes Mid-Air Mechanical Crisis

Mogadishu — Somalia's President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud survived a plane crisis on Tuesday when his flight developed mid-air mechanical problems 20 minutes after take off, Garowe Online reports.

President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud President Hassan and a delegation were travelled from Mogadishu to Juba, South Sudan, to attend South Sudan's Independence Day celebrations.

However, the Haajara Air flight's pilot informed the President and his delegation that the plane had “developed engine problems and would return to Mogadishu,” according to presidential spokesman Abdirahman Yarisow.

Some reports say that, following the engine problems, the pilot performed an emergency landing at Aden Adde International Airport Mogadishu and firefighters succeeded to fight flames on the plane. But speaking on BBC Somali Service after returning safely to the airport, Mr. Yarisow, who is part of the president's delegation, denied any reports of fire but declared that “an investigation” was underway regarding the incident.

President Mohamud and the other government officials on board escaped unharmed and Mr. Yarisow that the president and the officials accompanying him will continue their trip to South Sudan.

Journalists were prevented from picturing or recording the plane.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud emerged from the country's latest presidential contest in September 2012 and his government faces tough conundrum in the fight against Al Shabaab extremists. His dissidents accuse him of not properly upholding the Federal Constitution as he rejected to recognize the outcome of the Jubaland conference for state formation.

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