Alwaght- Somali officials prevented for several hours an airplane owned by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) after the country’s military trainers on board refused to hand over their luggage for regular airport security checks.
According to sources, on Saturday Somali officials at Bosaso International Airport at the semi-autonomous Puntland region insisted that the "heavy bags" carried by the military trainers on the flight be checked, resulting in an hours-long standoff.
Puntland security forces later allowed the UAE airplane to take-off from the airport of Bosaso, the commercial city of the northeastern Federal State on Saturday after a stand-off.
The aircraft was denied access to departing the airport during the standoff at Bosaso Airport that began after the Emirates refused to have their luggage scanned and searched.
The trainers who allegedly in the country to train Puntland Maritime Police Force [PMPF] left Bosaso for UAE on Saturday following the seizure of almost $10 million at Mogadishu airport last week.
The money was found in three unmarked bags on a Royal Jet plane, the Somali interior ministry said, adding it was investigating where it came from, where it was going and the individuals involved.
"The security forces noticed the suspicious bags and handed them over to the concerned departments," Somalia's security ministry said in a statement.
The relations between Somalia and UAE has been at the lowest level and strained since last July after Mogadishu announced its neutrality on the ongoing Persian Gulf diplomatic rift between Saudi Arabia, UAE, Bahrain and Egypt on one side and Qatar on the other.
And last month, Abu Dhabi agreed to train security forces in Somaliland - a region in northern Somalia seeking secession from the rest of the country.
The UAE has also signed with Somaliland a 30-year concession to manage the semiautonomous northern region's Berbera port.
Somalia has dismissed the agreement and called on the UN to take action.
Speaking at the UN Security Council last month, Abukar Osman, Somalia's ambassador to the UN, said the agreement between Somaliland and the UAE to establish the base in Berbera is a "clear violation of international law".