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Somali envoy blames Zambia over embassy chaos

Monday, May 07, 2012

LUSAKA, May 7 (Xinhua) -- The Somalian ambassador to Zambia blamed some officials of the Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the problems over his embassy, the Post of Zambia reported on Monday.

Last Friday, there was a dramatic scene at the Somali Embassy premises in Lusaka, the Zambian capital, when the envoy received another "diplomat" appointed by his government to take over from him without prior notification. The two men almost fought, but were separated by police officers. The embassy was temporarily closed as the two men were taken to police for questioning.

Ambassador Shirwa Aabdullahi Ibrahim said officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs are to blame over the incident, in which a Somali national attempted to unseat him, saying there is a group of Somalis in Zambia who are trying to jeopardize his work.

"The Somali embassy has been having problems for the past two years because of a group of people calling itself the Zambia- Somali Friendship Association. These people are murdering the warn relations that exist between the two countries.

"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," he was quoted as saying by the paper.

The envoy said the situation has been worsened by officials of the Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs who have been dealing with individual members of the Somali community, adding that some Somalis had been gaining access to Zambian government departments through bribes.

"Right now, the Somalian community in Zambia is more popular than the embassy. We have Somalians all over the world and the largest community in Kenya, but they do not behave the way this community behaves in Zambia," he added.

The envoy has since reported the incident which occurred on Friday to his government and that a formal response will be made to the Zambian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


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