By: Yusuf M Hasan
LAS ANOD (Somalilandsun) – The third batch in as many weeks of defecting Puntland soldiers has been received and accommodated by Somaliland authorities
The latest defection by over 30 Soldiers From the Somalia administrative region of Puntland was received by Somaliland government officials in Las Anod the Sool regional capital on Wednesday during a function in which the defectors all Somaliland citizens said they were driven by homesickness and hunger
“We are thankful for being home and feel like kings following the inhuman conditions in which we were forced to exist while in the service of the Puntland custodial corps” said a spokesperson for the defecting group of 30
Asking their relatives and country to forgive them for any difficulties their actions might have caused the returning citizens who said they were now fully fed after more than six months of being half starved said they were treated worse than the prisoners they were employed to guard.
The 30 youthful somalilanders who were enticed into defecting to Puntland by Abdi Nuur Adan a former Sool regional prison commander who absconded to Puntland himself after Somaliland authorities embarked on investigations pertaining to the escape of a notorious criminal from the Las Anod regional based penitentiary where he was a guest of the state on 1st January 2014.
The escaped criminal who was subsequently reported to be in Garowe where he was acknowledged as hero and appointed to a senior post within the Puntland administration had been serving a lengthily sentence after conviction on charges related to immoral conduct as pertained to child battery and sexual assault.
According to the returning and formerly errant citizens the worst part of their stay in Puntland was daily taunts by their purported colleagues in the custodial service and citizens of Puntland of “Why did you recant your nationality to come here looking for our hard earned money” and We shall kill you with hunger because this is not your land and because we are sure you cannot return to Somaliland”
True to their words narrated the now belly full youths they were never remunerated for their alleged service to the Puntland administration and had to survive through handouts or remittances from relatives in Somaliland and abroad.
To officially receive the returnees were senior Somaliland government and political figures among them Sool deputy regional governor Abdirashid Hirsi Dalmar , Regional police commander Colonel Abdirahman Roraye and Legislator representing the region at Guurti the Somaliland upper chamber of parliament Elder Abdiqadir Mohamed Hasan Indho-indho among others.
Addressing the youth’s Regional police commander Colonel Abdirahman Roraye who congratulated the youthful defectors for having seen the light of day and return to the fold of their motherland said self-seeking politicians were responsible for the problems encountered by the youngsters whom they had encouraged to owe allegiance to Puntland for monetary gain
Terming their rejection of Unionism and allegiance to the Somalia adminstrative region of Puntland as a virtue ingrained in all Somalilanders MP Indho-Indho who welcomed the defectors back to Somaliland said the youths all from Sool region had suffered a lot of misery in Puntland due to the machinations of mischievous politicians who upon delivering the batch of 30 and pocketing the promised money left them to die of want
The deputy cum acting governor of Sool region Abdirashid Hirsi Dalmar who informed the youths that the government of Somaliland mindful of its mandate to cater for the welfare of all citizens without discrimination had forgiven their transgressions against the nation said,
“This is to inform you that the president of Somaliland med Mahmud Silanyo has officially pardoned you from the constitutionally stipulated crime of treachery against the state”
The Somaliland constitution is stipulates that any citizen who owes allegiance to neighbouring Somalia is traitor and mandates law enforcement agencies with their arrest upon setting foot in the country and subsequent arraignment in court to face Treachery charges.
Governor Abdirashid also revealed that orders from the presidency in Hargeisa were for the regional administration to cater for the welfare of the Puntland humiliated youths especially as pertains to their nourishment until they are fit for induction into any branch of their choice within the Somaliland security forces.
The defection of this group is further proof that recent reports of riots by starving soldiers in Garowe and the maladministration practiced by the entire government of president Abdiweli Gas in Puntland are true
Somaliland: If Troops under my Command Ever Defect, Never to Puntland shall it be”- Col Ambaashe
Somalia speakers can watch below the defectors reception press conference though it is of poor audio quality