MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Reports of Turkey’s armed drone sales to Somalia’s government, whose to tenure expired almost 9 months ago, in violation of UN arms embargo has triggered alarm amid sensitive election time.
Opposition earlier raised concern over potential return of thousands of troops trained in Eritrea and now voice concern that the Turkish drones could be used in the current acting president’s efforts aimed at stifling dissent and hijacking the upcoming presidential polls.
“The mandate of the current government has elapsed. The FGS [Federal Government of Somalia] lacks legitimacy and can’t make decisions on issues of war and security,” the leader of Wadajir Opposition Party Abdirahman Abdishakur tweeted on Saturday.
He added that the “Turkish Government has a responsibility to ensure the drones” they are bringing into the country are not used in offensive operations other than those against Al-Shabaab armed group.
Former deputy spy chief Abdalla Abdalla said Turkey would be held responsible for any spill of blood caused by the armed Bayraktar TB2 drones Ankara has airlifted to Mogadishu.
A video circulated on social media showed the armed drone flying over the capital Mogadishu during a night time. Another video shared by pro-government twitter account Daily Juba showed Turkish military aircraft guarded by armored military vehicles at Adan Adde airport, with the news outlet claiming that the planes were carrying aerial vehicles.
Somalia’s government and Turkey have not immediately commented on the reports, which come just weeks after the United Nations renewed decades-long arms embargo on the Horn of Africa nation, which president Farmajo’s government sees as a significant impediment to endeavors towards rebuilding the Somali army.
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