By: Yusuf M Hasan
BERBERA (Somalilandsun) – The government of Somaliland has not received an alleged consignment of weapons donated by the government of the United Arab Emirates-UAE.
The denial was made by the Sahil Regional Governor Fahmi Abdi ‘Bidhar’ in reaction to circulating news alleging that he led a team of government officials that took-over a large consignment of UAE donated military ordnance at the Berbera port.
According to a number of websites more so Somali language ones, a ship docked at the main Somaliland port at Berbera on the early morning of Friday 4th July 20125 laden with an exclusive cargo of assorted weaponry that incudes hundreds of armoured personnel carriers, Tanks, Water bowsers and police outrider motorcycles among others donated to the government of Somaliland of weaponry from the UAE
While Governor Bidhar made the denial after promptings by journalist Mustafa Janale of hayaannews police and army headquarters are yet to react even though reports attribute them as sources of the photographs affixed to the information.
In lieu of the import attached to secrecy in such matters worldwide thence the silence from the armed forces it is worth mentioning that a large Somaliland delegation led by President Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo recently concluded an eight days official working visit of the UAE where they parleyed senior Emirati officials in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
If it be true this will be the third batch of UAE donated military hardware to arrive in the Horn of Africa in the recent past as a defenseweb report that informed of the Interim Jubba Administration of Somalia receiving military vehicles donated by the United Arab Emirates, including RG-31 armoured personnel carriers in May this year, preceded by a similar but larger consignment to the Somalia Federal government in Mogadishu mid last year.
Though Somaliland remains unrecognized as a sovereign state, it maintains good relations with Gulf countries and the support given by president Silanyo to ongoing Saudi Arabia led coalition war against rebels in Yemen.
Coupled with an imminent visit to Riyadh by Silanyo, seat of the Gulf States military coalition that has indicated need of utilizing Somaliland airspace and ports for its war in Yemen it is no wonder that a huge cloud hangs over the denial of weaponry donation.