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The senior officials were accused of stealing six big trucks carrying food aid which were donated by an unnamed Arab country. They are charged with selling the food in the markets of Hargeisa. The amount of food sold is unknown, but security officials told Somalia Report that that several tons of food were seized by the police before being delivered to the markets.
Somaliland's administration has declared a drought zone in west Somaliland, and the Arab donation was a response to the appeal for aid to help drought victims. Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Abdullahi said the government unearthed suspicions that the officials named were involved in stealing the food. Mr. Abdullahi promised that the detained officials will be brought to justice in coming days.
The fourteen officials who slept in jail last night include 12 members of parliament from Gebilay, whom the Vice President accused of creating insecurity and violence. The 12 MPs were arrested during a meeting in which they were trying to elect a new mayor of Gebilay to replace the former Mayor who resigned under allegations of creating insecurity. The charges against the 12 MPs is thought to be linked with disagreement between the central government and the Gebilay council.