Somaliland and Puntland forces clashed in Tukaraq, Sool region

Somaliland military defense forces clashed with Puntland forces on Monday in Tukaraq village which lies 35 km from Garowe.

The fighting between the two sides involving heavy artillery began early morning of Monday and continued until midday and has stopped after Somaliland military personnel took over the control of Tukaraq and some of the border towns in the region.

According to Somaliland information minister, the clash came after Puntland forces launched massive attack against Somaliland defense forces whereby Somaliland forces defended and took over the control of Tukaraq and passed to God-qaboobe which is near to Yoocaale district that is very close to Garowe, the capital city of the semi-autonomous region of Puntland.

It is reported that Puntland forces have initiated the enmity.  Eyewitnesses say the two opposing armies are using heavy weapons against each other in Tukaraq location.

Map - Tukaraq, Sool region, Somaliland-Puntland border
Map – Tukaraq, Sool region, Somaliland-Puntland border

Somaliland military troops in the eastern border regions have been put on alert since the Somalia president, Mohamed Abdilahi Farmajo embarked on his first visit to Puntland and he was reported to be visiting some districts in Sool region controlled by Somaliland government using new tactics of destabilizing Somaliland following the peaceful and transparent election last year in Somaliland.

On his arrival to Garowe, the Somali president has met politicians and elders supporting to Puntland and the federal government but hailing from Sool region last night in Garowe who requested him to pay visit to the contested Tukaraq and nearby areas.

Nevertheless, Somaliland military forces reported to have taken the full control of Tukaraq, which Puntland forces were stationed.  Somaliland information minister, Abdurrahman Abdilahi Farah known as “Guri-barwaaqo” confirmed that Puntland forces started aggression but they could not withstand Somaliland’s army which are better equipped and fled the district.

Now Somaliland troops are in the border town of Yoocaale that is 20 Km to Garowe.  It is reported that the fighting has little bit halted and Puntland is deploying its forces near to the towns that have been taken over by Somaliland. The casualties on both sides still remain unknown.

Somaliland and Puntland forces have fought sporadic battles since 2002 over the control of disputed region of Sool which are now under the full control of Somaliland.

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Muse Jeeh

Muse Jeeh is a freelance writer based in Hargeisa, Somaliland. He can be reached at [email protected]