‘War’ in Rome: Somali ambassadors shut each other out and replace closed buildings | Abroad

It is war in the Somali embassy in Rome. The new ambassador took possession of the property without formal transfer, locked out the outgoing ambassador, and immediately replaced all the locks.

Mohamed Abdirahman Sheik Issa is currently still the Somali ambassador to Italy, but has been unable to go to work since the beginning of April. His successor, Ahmed Adbirahman Sheikh Nur, arrived in Rome earlier than planned and took possession of the Embassy, ​​an upscale Liberty building in the Prati district, a stone’s throw from St. Peter’s Basilica. Unbeknownst to the incumbent ambassador. In Sheikh Nur’s wake came a locksmith who immediately replaced all the locks on the property. The new ambassador, a cousin of the current Somali president, has been living in the diplomatic building for a month and manages the vehicle fleet and all diplomatic documents.

Ambassador Sheik Issa claims that he is still the legitimate ambassador. “Until the formal handover has taken place, I will be Somalia’s diplomatic representative in Italy,” he told the Italian newspaper. The Republic† The government in the Somali capital Mogadishu thinks the same way. The current ambassador, who says he has now entrenched himself in the official residence in another part of Rome, because he is afraid that something will happen to him. “My safety is in the hands of the Italian government.”

The (former) Somali Ambassador to Italy Mohamed Abdirahman Sheik Issa (right). © © FAO / Alessia Pierdomenico

Curious and delicate

A diplomatic conflict in the heart of Rome and not between two countries, but between political opponents from the same country. The conflict has now been going on for almost a month and both Somali diplomatic representatives have been locked up in diplomatic premises owned by the Somali government. A curious and delicate matter.

The Italian authorities are therefore not sure what to do with the situation. They are afraid of getting caught up in an internal Somali conflict. The quarrel between the two ambassadors resembles an extension of the often violent political struggle in the East African country.


The Public Prosecution Service in the Italian capital has now launched an investigation into domestic trespassing, but for the time being against an unknown perpetrator. However, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is silent, much to the chagrin of the departing ambassador’s lawyer. “The ministry has not commented on these facts,” Alì Abukar Hayo said The Republic† “If a representative of another state asks for help, then action should be taken. That didn’t happen.”

In their respective ‘fortresses’, the two ambassadors await further instructions from Mogadishu.

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