17 May 2018

Somalia: Somaliland Opposition Leader Warabe Bashes UN's Keating Over Tukaraq Conflict

Photo: Mohammed Amin Jibril/IRIN
A Street in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland

Outspoken Somaliland's main opposition leader Feisal Ali Warabe on Thursday accused UN Chief in Somalia Michael Keating of fanning clashes between the breakaway region and Puntland in the disputed border town of Tukaraq.

"You are the one benefitting from the conflict because you take millions from the United Nations Security Council. You constantly portray Somalia as a troubled region" Warabe told journalists in Hargeisa.

Warabe was reacting to the UN Chief's call for Somaliland and Puntland to end the fighting in Tukaraq after renewed clashes on Tuesday

"The United Nations Secretary-General's Special Representative for Somalia, Michael Keating, joins the country's President Mohamed Abdullahi "Farmaajo" in calling for an immediate cessation of hostilities between 'Somaliland' and Puntland forces following recent fighting in the Tukaraq area of the Sool region" a statement from UN said.

And that statement has triggered protest in Somaliland.

"A message to Michael Keating. Farmaajo no longer is control of Somalia you are the one ruling Somalia" he said.

"The call that you gave us to stop the fighting we hereby decline it. We have stopped the war ourselves not through your command. We are asking are you going to stop the war." Warabe said.

"This is a very irresponsible statement from @UNSomalia and M Keating. 1) Puntland forces were ordered by @M_Farmaajo to attack #Somaliland. 2) Somaliland is not a federal member state of Somalia. UNSOM should refrain from taking sides if they genuinely care about Tukaraq conflict" Robleh Mohamud a Somaliland political commentator tweeted echoing the reaction of many from the region.

Warabe pointed his guns at the Council of Regional States leaders who this week concluded their second conference in the South West administrative capital Baidoa.

"I also condemn the Baidoa conference saying that Tukaraq is under Somalia but in reality is in Somaliland.They dont know their geography." Warabe said.

Keating last week visited both Puntland President Abdiweli Gaas and Somaliland's Muse Bihi to arbitrate over the Tukaraq fighting.

At least 30 people were killed in the latest conflict on the disputed region of Sool.

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