Authorities in the breakaway republic of Somaliland have confirmed the brief arrest of three Somali government officials after they were intercepted at the Egal International Airport in the capital Hargeisa late on Saturday.
By Shafi’i Mohyaddin
Monday, February 03, 2014
Deputy Information Minister Abdi Wahid Abdulkader Abdirahman told the VOA Somali service that the officials have been held at the airport since last night, before they were allowed to leave on Sunday.
“The three people were travelling on diplomatic passports and they were intending to illegally enter the country when the airport police intercepted them,” the deputy information minister told the VOA Somali service on Sunday.
Somaliland identified the detained Somali government officials as: Jama Mohamed Jama, a Presidential Palace Staffer; Fahima Nur Nageye, of the prime minister’s office; and Abdi Aziz Aden of Somalia’s foreign ministry.
“The three people were intercepted by the Airport Police as they were planning to secretly enter the city, they are now being held and will soon be brought before a court,” Somaliland’s Interior Minister Ali Mohamed Waran Adde told reporters earlier on Sunday.
Bu the Deputy Information Minister later on the day confirmed to the VOA Somali service that the three officials were sent back although he didn’t mention the specific place they were returned to.
But according to the VOA, the three Somali government officials were today allowed to continue their trip to the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.
The detention of Somali government officials in Hargeisa coincides with nearly two weeks after the 3rd round of Somalia-Somaliland talks ended in Turkey.