Somalia rejoins UPU family as decades-long sanctions are lifted.

Switzerland:–Somalia has officially resumed its full membership at the world’s governing body for postal services, as decades-long sanctions were lifted the same day.

Somalia’s minister for Post, Telecom and Technology, H. E. Abdi Ashur Hassan and director general of Universal Postal Union, Ambassador Bishar Hussein, on Tuesday 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.

The debt amounting to 1.88m CHF for the unpaid membership Fees and accrued interest 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 on Tuesday 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.

H.E Abdi Ashur Hassan thanked UPU chairman, director general for their understanding of the circumstances in Somalia and the sympathies we received from all members during our stay at UPU. “I would like to particularly thank Amb. Bishar and his team for facilitating this process to go smoothly, as we hope the rest will be completed in due time.”

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.