Ethiopian nationals arrested in Somalia

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HARGEISA - Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland has arrested at least 170 Ethiopian nationals, in what is related to human trafficking within the Horn of Africa, a move which could trigger another round of political duels, or rather, trigger fallout within the region.

The Coast Guard Corps associated with the breakaway region of Somaliland arrested the suspected human traffickers, just at the time the region is having talks with Ethiopia over possible recognition, sending shockwaves in Mogadishu, which accuses Ethiopia of violation of territorial integrity.

According to reports, the Coast Guard arrested the suspects around the Sanaag region within SSC Khatumo areas, and are said to have been escaping to alternative routes. They have been taken into custody to face prosecution over crimes against humanity.

The Somaliland Coast Guard in Sanaag Region said it conducted an operation in the specific area of Waqadariya on the eastern coast of Sanaag Region and apprehended the trafficking victims as they were being smuggled out in boats without knowledge of authorities.

The migrants who were en route to Yemen were detained from a large boat at the coast in the Sanaag region. Yemen, a largely unstable country, has been under the control of Houthi rebels who are fighting to control the government against the laid procedures and laws.

Recently, Ethiopia signed an agreement with Somaliland, causing diplomatic rifts with Somalia, which has since banished Ethiopia's envoy to the country, while closing consulates in different parts of Somalia. The matter has caused jitters across the world, with the international community calling for tolerance.

Ethiopia wants part of the Red Sea for the construction of a naval base and port, in exchange for recognizing the breakaway region as a sovereign state. Somaliland is fighting to get recognition but the international community remains non-committal, insisting it is part of Somalia.

GAROWE ONLINE

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