Somalia: Nine Emirates arrested for illegal hunting deported to UAE
HARGEISA, Somalia – The northern breakaway region of Somaliland has on Saturday deported nine Emirates to their country after spending 4 days in custody for unlawful hunting, Garowe Online reports.
Multiple sources in Hargeisa city said the Emirates paid $10,000 in fines after pleading guilty to illegally poaching deer without a license from Somaliland’s Ministry of Wildlife Conservation and Tourism.
The security forces have arrested the UAE nationals at Egal International airport on November 26, 2019, as they were attempting to board a Dubai-bound plane and took them into jail in Hargeisa right away.
Pictures circulated on social media showed the Emirati men hunting deer in an undisclosed location in Somaliland, a tiny region that had unilaterally declared its independence from great Somalia in 1991.
The United Arab Emirates enjoys close relations with Somaliland due to its close proximity to Yemen, where the UAE is part of the Saudi-led coalition is currently fighting against Iran-backed Houthi rebels.
In 2016, the UAE’s global port operator, DP World won a 30-year concession worth $442 million for the management and development of a multi-purpose port project at Berbera city in Somaliland.
DP World holds a 51% stake in the project, while Ethiopia holds 19% and Somaliland the rest.
The port deal, however, has attracted the ire of Somalia’s Federal Government. In March 2018, its parliament in Mogadishu declared the deal “null and void”, but Hargeisa administration was unmoved.
Somaliland has suffered a blow in its quest for international recognition after 28 years it claimed its own secession. Mogadishu had been calling for talks to keep the long-chaotic Horn of Africa nation united.