Zeila, Jul 7, 2009 — Five Somaliland nationals have reportedly been detained by Yemeni forces on Monday in a serious standoff between Yemen and the Republic of Somaliland.

A source in Somaliland’s capital said that Yemeni forces took the five men into custody in the wake of strained relationships between the two states. The arrests come after Somaliland coastguards seized six Yemeni nationals along with two fishing boats; the Six Yemeni men were detained in the Somaliland coastal town of Zeila on 4th of July.

The Yemenis are accused of smuggling Ethiopians searching for work in the Gulf States from Somaliland to Yemen. The smugglers often dump their passengers far from shore and force them to swim the rest of the way to avoid coast patrols. The Gulf of Aden between Yemen and the Horn of Africa is notorious for smuggling and piracy but Somaliland has been safe until now. In recent weeks, pirates and smugglers are shifting their operations to new areas where there are less patrols by NATO and American warships.

It is believed that one of the five men taken into custody by Yemeni forces is the son of Somaliland’s Commander of Coastguard in Zeila; “he went to Aden to export livestock” the source stated. Yemen is demanding that Somaliland releases it’s citizens in exchange for the five Somaliland natives.

There was no official statement from either Yemen or Somaliland officials.



  1. I think Yemen is over reacting unless they have something dirty to hide which obviously they do because they wouldn't just arrest people like that, Somaliland has the right to arrest these people on suspecion of smuggling people, what is Yemen's case? Because Somaliland arrested our people they can arrest anyone for it? Thats ridiculous and uncivilized, instead what Yemen should do was go to Somaliland and work with the authority to put an end to this smuggling if the cause is not true they should prove it.

    Yemen is just high on qat.

  2. Yemen Should suddenly release the Somaliland Citizens, who are now in their custods, there is no piracy threat in Somaliland water and Yemenies must bear the mind the long commercial historic relation between the two sides

  3. I know what your saying Yusif, the Yemenis help us as much as they can in terms of offering refuge to the somalis. I also watch that epsoide of Good Sheikh and it was heart breaking. It showed the fact that they are struggling as much as the somalis that are risking there lives are. But listen walal who ever is responsible for this smuggling and making profit form it needs to be arrested. whether form Somaliland or Yeman. The fact that Yeman are capturing Somalilanders simply as tool in a tick for tac is ridiculous and uncivilized. The goverments should be working together and not against each other.

  4. you idiot somalia is probably ten times more high on qat…

    Never forget what the Yemenis do for Somalis. When all our arab brothers reject and deny us entry Yemen the poorest Arab nation in the gulf allows us entry and they dont bother us with id cards or anything. My proof watch the good sheikh by aljaazera on youtube and tell me that Somalis would do the same. We are so busy looking at others mistakes we forget to analyze our own. As Somalis we are to blame for everything that has happened to us. Allah only gives you what you deserve so we deserve everything we are getting now. We need to repent to Allah and Allah only. We need to see all Somalis as Muslim no tribal bull****. Talk is cheap and actions are louder than words

    • First of all you need to relax and state your view without getting too emotional. As for Qat consumption everyone knows Yemen consumes more khat than Somalia even their parliament takes few hour khat break.

      And Yemen is not a Gulf State.

      • well we somalis still chew more than the yemenis, in fact the somaliland, puntland governments(if they can be called that at all) also have few hours qat breaks, this true our so called leaders are drug addicts alll of them south to north, in owdal saylac the the government buildings in the city are closed down from 12am to 15am everyday the same thing happens in all somali regional capitals all over the country, our nation is the highest nation in the world when it comes to drugs