Six Russia sentenced pilots released by court of Somaliland
|PRETORIA, December 31 (Itar-Tass) – The court of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland has released six Russian pilots. The SAPA agency reported on Friday that on Thursday they were found guilty of supplying “military equipment” to the neighbouring self-proclaimed country Puntland with which Somaliland is at war, as well as of violation of the airspace of Somaliland. At first they were sentenced to one year in prison, but later the sentence was changed for suspended.
The Sarazin International firm that chartered the Antonov An-26 plane with a Russian crew, has denied that it violated the law. According to it there were military uniforms and mines on board. The An-26 was arrested on December 10 at Hargeisa airport (Somaliland). After the detention, Interior Minister of Somaliland Mohamed Abdi Gabose said that the delivery of such goods violates the UN embargo on arms supplies to Somalia.
Sarazin International is a private British security firm operating in several African states. According to the company, the cargo was carried to Puntland, where it trains the Coast Guard.