Somaliland:Is Las Anod Judge Murder, Vendetta or Somalia-Puntland Fronted Terrorism

vehicle in which judge was killed in through a remote controlled bomb in Las Anod Somaliland

Somilandsun : The Judiciary, Government and people of Somaliland are mourning the brutal death of Sool Regional Judge.

The late judge Hasan Sheikh Mahmud met his death in Las Anod the Sool Regional capital through a powerful remote controlled bomb planted in his car.

With four days having passed without any official statement on the death from either the Sool Regional administration in Las Anod or Somaliland Central government in Hargeisa speculation is rife especially as pertains the high tech assassination of the Judge.

These speculations on the murder the first using a remote controlled bomb in Somaliland revolve around a couple of sceneries namely Vendetta, Fulfilment of threats of Bloodshed in Somaliland by Puntland or Somalia Fronted Terrorism.

Guided by past instances this is not the first assassination of a Somaliland government official in the volatile town of Las Anod or the wider Sool region which are usually clan Vendetta or clan acrimonies based or in some very long ago instances acts by Khatumo secessionists and Sool, Sanag and Cayn (Ain) SSC militias .

While the anti-Somaliland Khatumo and SSC movement have been neutralized through reconciliation with government the murder of the Judge is thought to be Vendetta based considering that he, Judge, recently send a few prominent people in Las Anod to prison after they were found guilty of dealing in Alcohol distribution, a crime in the country.

Though clan differences is usually a plausible reason for assassination not only in Sool but in any region of the country the late Judge Hasan Sheikh comes from Geri a small minority clan in Sool where it is known not to be in any conflict with the wider Dulbahante clan or any of its many sub-clans.

To discount further any type of Vendetta in this murder is the type of technogy used, a remote controlled bomb, which is not in the reach of ordinary people who are known to use guns and knives to eliminate perceived enemies or in clan revenge.

Having negated clan or work related act the murder in Las Anod comes  heels of a resurgent SSC Militia based Buhoodle another turbulent District in Sool region despite having reconciled political differences with the immediate past administration of President Silanyo.

The SSC reconciliation saw members included in the Somaliland government with its former leader Dr  Suleiman Isse Ahmed aka Haglatosie appointed to the cabinet of president Silanyo, serving as minister in a couple of ministries while other SSC rebels were absorbed by all security agencies and others joining the civil service.

Though Haglatosie, having not been included in the cabinet of current president Muse Bihi administration is no longer serving in government thence his return to his Buhoodle stronghold, most if not all of his former SSC combatants are still in the agencies that absorbed them after the Buhoodle accords were signed.

Thus the resurgence of SSC which has raised the ire of government in Hargeisa to the extend of accusing Hass petroleum company of funding it, its connection with the sophisticated murder of the Judge is dubious.

Resurgent SSC Militia in Buhoodle Somaliland.jpg

But recent activities by the Somalia Federal government in Buhoodle where flights emanating from Mogadishu laden with yet to be ascertained cargoes is cause to worry, especially perceived in relation with the SSC resurgence coupled with armed incursion from Puntland and verbal threats of ensuring Bloodshed in Somaliland issued by authoritties in Garowe.

Last week the Somaliland armed forces were engaged in different skirmishes with invading troops from Puntland in Las Qoray district in East Sanaag region and Tukaraq in Sool region, in which claims of victory by either side were made.

The Puntland an administrative region of Somalia lays jurisdicational claims to the Eastern Somaliland regions of Sool and East Sanaag simply because residents are predominantly from the Dulbahante and Warseengeli sub clans of the wider Harti clan which they shared with the majeerten clan which predominates in Puntland.

In just a week Puntland incursions in Las Qoray and Tukaraq were successfully repulsed by Somaliland army with a statement from the army spokesperson in Hargeisa reiterating on the fact that Somaliland shall never invade any country but its troops shall defend territorial integrity to the fullest.

In Garowe the Puntland administration was quick to respond forts with reports of huge success against what was termed as invading troops from Somaliland, claiming that 50 soldiers and a large assortment of ordinance were captured mostly in the Las Qoray skirmishes.

In Tukaraq reports indicate that attempts by Puntland forces to recapture the military base from which they were dislodged by Somaliland a few years back were unsuccessful, a fact that is thought to have precipitated a very provocative announcement by the regional administration’s interior minister Abdisamad Mohamed Gallan

Somaliland troops in Las qoray

Addressing troops in Garowe the interior minister said that Puntland shall no longer accept any incursions by Somaliland army units into any areas under the clan jurisdiction of Puntland, which literally translated means East Sanaag and entire Sool regions simply because fellow Harti clansmen are predominant residents.

“In this ongoing campaign to remove invaders from our lands the fight shall end in Erigavo the capital of Sanaag region” interior minister told the Puntland troops while stressing on them the importance of not budging a single inch from their current frontline bases, (read border with Somaliland )

Informing that the final curtain to the Confrontation with Somaliland is now the interior minister told the troops, “Your country Puntland calls upon you to shed blood in Somaliland thence our supremacy in Sanaag and Sool regions”

This tthreat by the Puntland interior minister Abdisamad Gallan which seems to have gone unnoticed or ignored in Hargeisa was made three days before the sophisticated murder of the Sool region Judge in Las Anod.

Whether Puntland is directly involved in this brutal act in Las Anod or acting on behalf of the federal government of Somalia which after the fiasco of the proposed president Farmajo visit to Hargeisa is in pursuit of disrupting prevailing peace and security in Somaliland, the fact is that the Judge Hasan Sheikh Mahmud was killed by persons highly skilled in electronically controlled explosive devices.

The sophistication of the Judiciary officer ‘s assassination has the finger prints of Islamic State – ISIS which is has been in ideological confrontation with to Al-Shabaab the Islamist group battling the federal government for control of the war torn Somalia.

Recent reports by   Strategic Intelligence indicate that The Islamist militant’s threat continues to multiply in East African nation of Somalia with recent reports showing fighters allied to the Islamic State on Sunday, sighted undergoing intensive training in Bari Mountains, northeast of Puntland.

ISIS-Somalia Militants Sighted Training in Bari Mountains, Northeast Puntland

Adding that Since the beginning of this years, the group has remained silent with minimized activities in Somalia citing their frequent rivalry with the Al-Qaeda affiliated Al-Shabaab besides being hunted by security forces. Multiple reports show the fighters pictured carrying heavy artillery and other small arms. According to a credible source, the militants are being trained at Abu Bakri al-Qurayshi and Abu Hassan al-Muhajir military camps.

As the Somaliland administration remains silent on the murder of judge Hasan Sheikh in Las Anod speculation shall remain rife on what exactly happened, Why and who is to blame