Close to 500 Somaliland soldiers and their commanders in Sanaag region have defected to Puntland after soldiers refused orders from Somaliland forces command to capture Badhan, a town where delegations from Puntland w gathering, eyewitnesses and local elders have reported.
The majority of the defected soldiers believed that it was unnecessary to shed blood of civilians in the region.
One of the defected soldiers who spoke to GM had said that ” they were not willing to attack civilian and oppress them.”
“If they want to join Somaliland and want to secede from Somalia, it should be their choices but not forcing them to do so,”
The region was the centre of the dispute between Somaliland a defacto state in northern Somalia and the semi-autonomous region of Puntland. Both administrations claim the region as part if their borders.
Troops movement from Somaliland were reported and stories of renegade emerged quickly. There were reported that the military in Erigavo ordered Somaliland troops in the region to move into Badhan town. But quickly troops commanders— the majority of them from the region— refused to take orders. A source close to the defected troops, says the commander was ordered to come to Erigavo before their defection.
” the defection come following concerns that there will be disciplinary action against the soldiers and their commanders.” the sources have told GM.
Attack on Puntland Minister of Education
Thousands of people protested on what they term the secessionist agenda of Muse Bihi, the President of Somaliland. The protest intensified Somaliland soldiers move to towns in Sanaag region and attack on Puntland Ministry of Education convey supervising school exams in Damalhagarre village in southern Sanaag.
The attack which the government of Puntland accused of Somaliland soldiers killed two of Minister of Education of Puntland security guards.
” This was an attack on the will of the people,” had said following the attack on his convoy.
” The response should come from the people of Sanaag. It is time to act and send clear message about the will of the people in Sanaag region.” He told a gathering people after the attack on his convey in Damla Xagare.
Troops movement in Sanaag region.
Minister of Internal Security of Puntland, Mohamed Galla, together with Puntland Police Commissioner arrived Badhan following the attack on Ministry of Education of Puntland.
They both told crowds of people gathered in Badhan that Puntland will defend the town and will not allow Somaliland aggression to continue.