By: Yusuf M Hasan
Hargeisa (The Horn) – We are diplomats and not merchants leave alone engagement in smuggling of illicit drugs and liquids.
The Ethiopian embassy in Hargeisa has denied smuggling drugs and alcohol into Somaliland as alleged by a local newspaper.
The denial was made by the Ethiopian Ambassador to Somaliland Brigadier General Berhe Tesfaye in a statement released from his offices in which he described the smuggling allegations as damaging to the dignity of the embassy and country of Ethiopia.
The ambassadorial statement described the allegations as the work of person’s intent on hurting the conducive bilateral relations especially political, security and trade prevailing between the governments of Ethiopia and Somaliland respectively.
“I urge the government of Somaliland to closely scrutinize the source of the information as a prelude to undertake a remedy as allowed by law” Said Gen Tesfaye
The Denial statement delivered to our offices read:
“We wish to inform the Somaliland people that the Ethiopian office in Hargeisa absolutely denies allegation related to our office being involved in the business of smuggling illegal items like alcohol and drugs, as reported by a local newspaper.
We believe aim of purported smuggling allegation was to hurt the image of our office thus derail the excellent cooperation existing between our two countries.
We affirm here that this baseless allegation will not affect the flourishing relations we have with Somaliland. Lastly, we request Somaliland government to closely scrutinize sources of that news in order to undertake legal proceedings as well as deter similar acts in future
At the same time the Somaliland foreign minister Dr Mohamed Abdillahi Omar currently in Addis Ababa attendind the 20th AU Summit has extended apologies to the government of Ethiopiafor accusations made against the country’s embassy in Hargeisa by a local newspaper.
Dr Omar refuted the newspaper report which alleged that members of the diplomatic mission in Hargeisa are involved in the smuggling of illegal alcoholic drinks and drugs like cannabis.
“While this allegation is baseless it is very serious as it might lead to damaged relations between friendly countries” Said Dr Omar
He urged members of the country’s fourth estate to act ethically in addition to exercising caution as pertains to the information they avail the public