24 March 2014

Somalia: Puntland Leader Accuses Somaliland of Financing Al Shabaab

Photo: The Daily Nation
Members of Somalia’s hardline Islamist rebel group al Shabaab.

Bossaso — The President of Somalia's Northeastern State of Puntland Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas for the first time disclosed at public meeting in the port city of Bossaso that Somaliland's separatist administration finances Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group on Monday, Garowe Online reports.

Puntland leader said, Somaliland continues to provide financial muscle with the Al Shabaab fighters operating in Galgala area near Golis Mountain Ranges following escalations of deadly hit-and-run attacks shortly after Somaliland President Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (Siilaanyo) made a surprise visit to Laasqoray coastal town which lies 107km from Bossaso.

Puntland President addresses reporters in port city of Bossaso on 24 March 2014 [Photo: Puntland Govt]

Speaking about Al Shabaab's infiltration into the hard and mountainous terrain along Golis chains, President Gaas noted that Al Shabaab remnants who were fleeing from African Union Mission in Somalia (AMISOM) onslaught in southern and central Somalia easily passed through Somaliland borders and crossed into Puntland.

According to intelligence briefings, President Siilaanyo's visit to Laasqorey coincided with a day before the killing of the commander of Puntland defense forces units in Galgala Col. Jama Saed Warsame (Afgaduud). Reliable sources within Puntland Government and requested anonymity tell GO that preliminary scrutiny linked the pre-planned tour to terror activities.

Somaliland Sunday beefed up troops presence in Sanaag region by stationing hundreds of soldiers in armored fighting vehicles in Armale village, about 75km from Sanaag regional capital of Baran.

Puntland Information Minister Abdiweli Hirsi Abdule said on VOA Somali Service that Somaliland's move is provocation and land grab.

United Nations envoy to Somalia Ambassador Nicholas Kay expressed concern about the renewed security threats in northern Somalia, urging both Puntland and Somaliland to exercise restraint.

The newly elected Puntland President Dr. Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas pledged the restoration of Sool regional capital of Lasanod back in the hands of native residents at the height of Puntland elections campaign.

Puntland and Somaliland have fought sporadic battles since 2002 over the control of territories mainly in Sool region following the seizure of Lasanod in military offensive in October 2007 by Somaliland forces.

Somaliland, located in northwestern Somalia unilaterally declared its independence from the rest of the country as a de facto sovereign state in 1991 but it hasn't been recognized internationally yet.

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