Djibouti said it had banned the transport of all goods and people between Djibouti and the self-declared state of Somaliland, northwestern Somalia. A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Tuesday that the administration in Somaliland had stolen cigarettes worth US $800,000 belonging to Djibouti businessman Abdirahman Bore, at the airstrip in Somaliland’s port of Berbera. The Somaliland administration was “trying to use unacceptable blackmail by saying there can be no commercial relations between Djibouti and Somaliland unless Djibouti recognises Somaliland as an independent state”, Agence France-Presse (AFP) quoted the statement as saying.
The prominent Djibouti businessman, Bore, is close to Djibouti President Ismail Omar Guelleh, and helped finance and organise the Djibouti-hosted Somali peace talks last year which elected Somalia’s new president, Abdiqassim Salad Hassan. Last week, Bore went to Hargeysa, Somaliland, to hold talks with Somaliland President Muhammad Ibrahim Egal.
A UN source said that the ban on commercial flights from Djibouti to Somaliland, also applied to UN flights with effect from Wednesday morning.
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This article was produced by IRIN News while it was part of the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. Please send queries on copyright or liability to the UN. For more information: https://shop.un.org/rights-permissions