Somalilandsun- As Puntland reignites armed conflict in the eastern region of Sool , the Somaliland army commander is inspecting bases in neighbouring Sanaag Region.
A delegation of senior Somaliland army officers led by army commander General Ismail Nuh Tani arrived in Erigavo, the capital of Sanaag Region on the 9th October.
According to General Tani who briefed the press, the visit is mainly to inspect army bases in the region while sideline meetings shall also be held with Sanaag regional and Erigavo district administrators.
The visit by the high powered military team to Sanaag comes a day after Puntland launched an attack at a Somaliland military base in Tukaraq of Sool Region.
Puntland which is a regional administrative region of Somalia, claims jurisdicational authority over east Sanaag and entire Sool regions of Somaliland, purportedly because predominating clans there namely Warsengeli and Dhulbahante are Harti thence cousins of the Majeertens of Puntland which borders this country to the east.
While neither Somalilamd governent nor its military officials have issued a statement on the latest clashes In Tukaraq, the Puntland authorites in Garowe are full of verbosity.
According to the commander of Puntland’s special forces, Colonel Omar Faraweine the attack on a Somaliland military base was an ambush by his forces that ensued with some deaths, injuries and destruction of a number of battle wagons.
“We ambushed Somaliland troops at their base in Tukaraq at 10am on the 8th Oct and we managed to kill three soldiers, injured 14 and burned three technical battlewagons” Said Col Faraweine adding that their actions were supported by local militias aligned to the Dhulbahante clan.
According to www.puntlandtimes.ca a clan militia led by commander Feisal Falalug attacked Somaliland army units at Xerta village base AKA Timaweynta on the same day in a battle utilizing heavy weaponry that lasted for almost an hour.
The Clan militia Commander Feisal Falaluq is a national of Somaliland who has aligned politically with Puntland after defecting from the Khatumo secession movement following agreement with Hargeisa.
Echoing the clan militia and Puntland special forces commanders boosts of the attacks, the Somalia administrative region’s security minister said that the ambush was not only undertaken in order to force Somaliland troops out of the contested area but was very successful as well.
Read: Somaliland Leaders Condemn Visit by Puntland President To Badhan
“Our forces supported by local militias attacked Somaliland army bases in Tukaraq” Said the Puntland interior minister Ahmed Abdilahi Yusuf Dawlad” during a presser in Garowe adding that a full report shall be issued later
A few backs the president of the Somalia administrative region Abdiweli Gas launched intensification of hostilities by visiting Badhan a town in Sanaag region of Somaliland where he held a cabinet meeting , after allegedly initiating several Development projects.
The Renewed conflict in Tukaraq is now in its ninth month from when Somaliland forces dislodged Puntland Troops and subsequently establishing direct authority from Hargeisa.
Since then Numerous attacks and counter-attacks have ensued resulting in many Killed or wounded in action in what Somaliland authorities claim is a proxy war by Somalia.
The two countries have been at political loggerheads for over two decades following the withdrawal of Somaliland from its voluntary later turned union with Somalia of 1960.
With Somalia claiming jurisdiction of Somaliland which it terms at its Northwest region and in lieu of the Mogadishu based Federal government appeasing it’s lifeline, the International community, it engages Somaliland in a proxy war waged by Puntland.
The acrimonies in the Puntland- Somaliland border are also used as a bargaining chip by Somalia whenever resumption of internationally sanctioned talks are brought up.
In this context the recent call by the international community for cessation of the Cold War between Hargeisa and Mogadishu through resumption of the stalled talks, that were initiated by the UK in 2012 and hosted by Turkey is related to the resignation of clashes in Tukaraq.
“This provides Somalia with an argument that Somaliland is not fully in control of its territory while the use of local militias also goes to portray Somaliland as one clan notion” say Horn Africa Analyst Yumoha Pasha. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Stressing that the international community need not call for resumption of talks only but guarantee that contrary to the past Somalia adheres to all agreements reach , analyst Yumoha Pasha adds that the onus is on Britain as pertains clarification of contested boundaries in the east, which it demarcated more than a century ago.
Another point of note is the 90 day’s away Puntland presidential elections whose contenders usually use the forceful acquisition of eastern Sanaag and entire Sool region of Somaliland as a campaign promise.
The quest for a second term by Puntland President Abdiweli Gas who is facing fierce opposition from a number of very influential candidates for the Garowe Presidency, has seen him attempt to raise ante by providing renegade Somaliland army officer, Colonel Aarre a presumed rebel base in the town of Qardo.