His Excellency the Vice Minister for Information, Mohamed Musa Abees, warned Puntland authorities that patience with their continued armed offensives and violation of mediated ceasefire has worn too thin.
The VM, speaking to the media, today, at his office at the Ministry of Information and Culture, said Puntland has never ceased attacking frontline positions of the Somaliland national army in the area of Tukaraq of Sool region.
He revealed the latest of the Puntland forays against Somaliland posts happened at around 9:00 p.m., Monday evening.
“Using tactical weapons and night vision goggles supplied them to fight ‘terrorists’, Puntland militias attacked a forward position of the Somaliland army,” he said.
The Minister said an enlisted soldier who was wounded in the attack lost his life later.
“The Puntland attack was repulsed successfully forcing their militias to hastily retreat carrying their dead and wounded back to their positions,” he said.
VM Abees declared that Somaliland patience has worn out and that, Somaliland, can no longer tolerate the incessant, blatantly flaunted breach of the negotiated settlement between the two sides.
“We have fully respected the IGAD and EU mediation efforts, upholding the four-term settlement they struck between us, Puntland and its Somalia. Puntland and Federal Somalia never did, and that needs no proof as the international community is fully aware of the situation,” he stated, adding that, henceforth, Somaliland will no longer countenance the continued aggression of the Puntland side but will, instead, take all necessary measures to ensure the safety of its citizens and sanctity of borders.
Other sources reported that the Puntland assault units who engaged the national army last evening were supported by mortar and artillery barrages which achieved little else other than create an unsuccessful diversion.
Somaliland has always maintained a pacifying stance on the incendiary situation of areas in the Sool and Eastern Sanaag regions over which Puntland disputes on merit of clan affiliation.
Today’s succinctly cached, short statements from the Vice Minister have all the trappings of changing the Somaliland view on cessation of armed engagements – which may be what Presiden Gass wished to achieve in order to justify an extension of term in office before December 2018.