The government of Somaliland, today, returned 14 vehicles which had been looted from the Somali State of Eastern Ethiopia when its administration collapsed amid ethnic tensions earlier in the month.
All the vehicles, of assorted makes and capacities, ranging from sedans to hardtops to buses to trucks belonged to the state.
According to the Police, a number of the drivers who absconded with the government vehicles were apprehended awaiting further decision.
Ato Berhe Tesfay, Head of the Ethiopian diplomatic mission in the Republic of Somaliland expressed his gratitude to the government and people of Somaliland.
“This is an expression of the deep friendship between Ethiopia and Somaliland, and we humbly and gratefully note the significance of the gesture,” he said, taking over the keys from the Deputy Police Commander of Somaliland, Brigadier General Abdirahman Liban ‘Foohle’ and the Deputy Minister for Interior, Mohamed Musa Derie, at the border town of Wajaale where a brief ceremony marking the event was held.
The vehicles were rounded up from different locations in the regions of Maroodijeeh, Gabiley, Awdal, and Togdheer of Somaliland
Sources say that all of the vehicles were not intentionally brought over the border in order to rob them, some of the drivers, many of them government officers, were afraid for their lives when the state government fell apart and ethnic clashes took over the streets of many urban centers such as the capital of the Somali State, Jigjiga.
Until security came back to normal, the government of Somaliland put its security forces on full alert taking over the responsibility of civilian safety on both sides of the border.
The two countries have a security back that goes back to the days of President Rayale and was strengthened and reinforced by the subsequent Kulmiye governments of Ahmed Siilaanyo and Musa Bihi.