Somaliland Seizes Plane Carrying Military Equipment To Puntland
Hargeisa, Somaliland, - Officials from the break away republic of Somaliland said late Friday that they have seized a plane carrying military equipments to Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland.
In a press conference held at the Hargeisa airport, Somaliland Interior Minister Mohammed Abdi Gabose, told reporters that the plane was carrying military equipment such as uniforms and devices to inspect mines and bombs.
Gabose said the plane came from South Africa, stopped over Uganda and was heading to Puntland. Somaliland security forces detained the plane after landing at Hargeisa airport.
He said the aircraft had violated the United Nations embargo on arms to Somalia. “Eight crew were aboard the plane, two from South Africa and the six others from Russia,” Gabose was quoted as saying.
Puntland authorities have not yet commented on the charges by neighboring Somaliland. But, Saracen International, a British-based security company that holds a contract with Puntland to train thousands of its naval forces, denied the plane was loaded with weapons. Saracen said it had flown from United Arab Emirates and was loaded with military uniforms, cameras, life jackets and tents.
Supported by Saracen, Somalia’s semi-autonomous state of Puntland has begun training thousands of its naval forces to uproot pirates who constantly bedevil Somalia’s coasts. However, the United States and neighboring break-away republic of Somaliland have expressed a deep concern about Puntland’s step to train thousands of its maritime forces