Puntland accuses Somaliland of “naked invasion”

The president of Puntland, the semi-autonomous region of Somalia, Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas spoke about the escalating tension with Somaliland. Speaking at a press conference held on Tuesday night, he accused Somaliland for attacking his territory and pledged to defend Puntland’s territory.

In a press conference, he held at the presidential palace in Puntland, the president criticized Somaliland for invading Tukaraq, Sool region, which he claimed a part of Puntland. He described the move as an aggression and disruptive to the peace process in Somalia.

Puntland’s president Ali indicated that Monday’s attack was a “naked intervention”, saying that the semi-autonomous region will not tolerate Somaliland’s attack and that Puntland is sufficient to defend its land and its people.

Ali have also accused Somaliland of supporting terrorist groups. “As you are aware of Puntland is currently at war with ISIL and AL-shabab and the capture of Somaliland in Tukaraq is a sign that shows Somaliland endorses terrorist groups”, Ali  was quoted as saying during the press conference on Tuesday night.

Meanwhile, Puntland’s leader has called on the people of Puntland at home and abroad should be ready for defending Puntland’s borders and similarly called on the government of Somalia and the international community to carefully note that Somaliland will be responsible for the consequences of  last Monday’s clashes.

The government of Somaliland has not yet issued any response to Puntland’s allegations that Somaliland supports terrorist groups.

Following the capture of Tukaraq last Monday, the tension is high with fear of further military confrontation as both Somaliland and Puntland deploying more troops into the disputed region.

The armed forces of Somaliland and Puntland clashed last Monday in Tukaraq village which lies 35 km from Puntland’s capital Garowe. The clash, which involved heavy artilleries, took place in the morning of Monday and stopped around noon after Somaliland captured the Tukaraq area.

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Muse Jeeh

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