Somaliland’s Minister of Agricultural Development Hon. Ahmed Mumin Seed dismissed a statement to VOA by Somalia’s Minister of Agriculture Mr. Said Hussein Iid that it conduct aerial desert locust control operations in Somaliland territory.

The project was unvailed yesterday by Somali Federal Government officials with the arrival of the two helicopters at Mogadishu’s Aden Ade Airport yesterday as part of a USAID package combat huge swarms of desert locusts in East Africa.

Minister Seed stated that Somali Federal Government officials merely sought photo opportunity with the helicopters and that Somaliland is a separate nation whose aid is not delivered through Somalia. He added that aid to Somalia comes through Berbera port occasionally and because they understand international relations facilitate its transfer to the people of Somalia.

The Minister sought to clarify questions surrounding the operation of these helicopters in Somaliland airspace where some have questioned the project which Somaliland is not mentioned in FAO or USAID project documents.

The funding will support operations to control desert locusts in three of the most affected countries: Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia. Programs aimed at reducing the size of the infestations are critical to mitigating a potentially larger impact on people’s ability to earn a living and provide food for their families in the future.” FAO said in a statement released on March 16, 2020 to announce 19 million USD from USAID.

The 19 million USD from USAID is in response to an appeal by FAO on February for funding. Somaliland is shown as part of Somalia in FAO appeal to the International Community for funding.

Efforts to reach Mr. Seed the government’s to clarify if Somaliland government will allow these helicopters to operate in Somaliland and if there have been prior consultation with Somaliland government have been unsuccessful.

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