The Vice President of semi-autonomous region of Puntland, has issued an order demanding commercial flights to get permits to land in Buhodle town in Ayn region, Garowe Online reports.
Vice President Abdihakim Abdulahi Haji Omar “Aamy” stated that Ayn region falls under the control of Puntland administration and commercial flights must register with Puntland Civil Aviation Ministry to operate in the region.
Yesterday a plane destined to Buhodle town was directed to land in Garowe Airport following the order of the VP.
The flight was carrying 7 U.S. citizens and an Australian citizen who were part of a humanitarian team aiming to assess and help drought-victims in Ayn region. The plane later was allowed to fly to Buhodle town.
Speaking to the media, Aamy said the motive behind the order was to strengthen security and monitor flights landing in the region are not breaching the law and engaging in illegal activities.
Asked about whether Puntland is politicizing the humanitarian programs in the region that is contested with neighboring Somaliland, VP said; “ we have to separate the politics and insecurity, the country is beset with insecurity, and we want to protect the people and the region, so its our responsibility to monitor the who are people arriving there.”
The order comes as recently several cargo flights carrying food supplies and medicine have landed in Buhodole town following the outbreak of cholera cases that killed several people in the region.
Sool, Sanag and Ayn regions are contested areas between neighboring Somaliland and Puntland administrations.