10 July 2011

Somalia: Puntland Condemns Provocative Incident at Las Korey

On 9 July, Puntland security forces at Las Korey coast fired warning shots on unidentified foreign soldiers who landed on the coast using small boats and an amphibious Armed Personnel Carrier (APC).

The foreign soldiers withdrew to the sea without firing back.

 Puntland Government sources later revealed the foreign soldiers had disembarked from a British Royal Navy warship and were accompanied by Somaliland military officers, including a man identified as Berbera-based Somaliland Coastguard commander Admiral Ahmed Aw Osman.

British naval personnel landed on the Las Korey coast without the permission of Puntland Government. It has since been revealed that the British naval warship was misled by Somaliland authorities, who provided false information that Las Korey town is controlled by Somaliland forces.

The incident created high tensions inside Las Korey town, as Puntland security forces fired warning shots.

The Government of Puntland strongly condemns the actions of Somaliland authorities that potentially compromise the peace and stability of northern Somalia.

 This act of foreign public opinion manipulation is unacceptable for good neighborly relations and mutual coexistence to strengthen regional security and stability.

Furthermore, the Puntland Government welcomes the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the British Royal Navy’s immediate and direct communication with Puntland officials to clarify this regrettable misunderstanding.

Finally, the Government of Puntland calls on Somaliland authorities to respect neighborly relations and to refrain from similar actions in the future, as Somaliland has previously attacked Puntland regions.

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