Somalia rejoins UPU amid lifting of decades-long sanctions

APA-Nairobi (Kenya)

Somalia has officially resumed its full membership at the world’s governing body for postal services, as decades-long sanctions have been lifted.

Somalia’s minister for Post, Telecom and Technology, Abdi Ashur Hassan and director general of Universal Postal Union, Ambassador Bishar Hussein, signed amortization plan where Somalia undertakes to pay its debt over a period of ten years starting from 2019.

“The agreement would not only help lift sanctions imposed on Somalia, but also open doors for Somalia to become an active member in the union after decades of absence,” read a statement issued in Nairobi on Thursday.

The debt amounting to 1.88 million CHF for the unpaid membership fees and accrued interest to the Switzerland based organization since 1982 came at a time when Somalia Post was not accessing the services as the country’s postal service was destroyed in the civil war in 1991.

Speaking to UPU’s Council of Administration, Minister Hassan asked UPU to write off all debts so that the Ministry can focus all its resources on rebuilding the postal service, as the competent UPU authorities will consider Somalia’s legitimate plea.

Speaking after the signing ceremony, Ambassador Hussein said he is happy to see Somalia playing its due role at UPU.

“From today you are a full member with full rights and sanctions will be lifted from today,” adding all relevant departments will be working with Somalia in their respective areas to facilitate the reconstruction of Somalia,” said Ambassador Hussein.

In 2017, the Ministry resumed its full membership rights at International Telecommunications Union (ITU) and voted at ITU-PP in Dubai in 2018 for the first time in almost three decades.


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