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Somaliland: Property worth $2 billion destroyed in market fire tragedy


HARGEISA, Somalia - Properties worth billions of dollars were destroyed by a huge fire that engulfed one of Hargeisa's busy markets on Friday evening, as Muslims around the world started the busy holy month of Ramadan, which is fundamental in the Islamic Calendar.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the breakaway region of Somalia, while citing a report by the National Support Committee for victims of the Hargeisa market fire, said assets lost to the fire are estimated to be worth between $1.5 billion to $2 billion.

So devasting was the tragedy that Hargeisa Mayor Abdikarim Ahmed Mooge asked for support from around the world, adding that the city did not have the capacity to put off the fire at the time of the tragedy.

The accident has seemingly united Somalis, with outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo making a rare phone call to the region's leader Muse Bihi Abdi. Somaliland claims to be an independent state, but Somalia insists it's part of her territory.

Although the cause of the fire is yet to be established, data obtained by The Dossier indicate that 78% of fires in homes and businesses in Mogadishu are caused by electric faults. Some blame fires on negligence on the part of power companies, a finding which could be attributed the Hargeisa.

Companies blame bad electrical design and wiring in homes and poor quality wires imported from China. The region has been peaceful with no single incident of Al-Shabaab or any other terrorist group known for causing such violence

World leaders expressed their sadness following the devastating fire, with Ethiopia dispatching Finance Minister Ahmed Shide to assess the damage. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson also sent his message of encouragement.

"Saddened to see the aftermath of the fire in Hargeisa with such destruction in the open market that is the economic heart of the city, affecting many small and family enterprises," he said, adding that: " Your city will rise again and the UK will do what we can to support Somaliland’s rebuilding effort."

Concerned by reports of a fire destroying Hargeisa’s main market and hope that the injured recover quickly. I support the US and international efforts to partner with Somaliland’s leaders to rebuild as soon as possible," added Gregory Meek, the Chairperson of the House Foreign Relations Committee.


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