His Excellency Abdirashid Duale Qambi, Minister of Public Works and Housing of the Republic of Somaliland, received over 200 soldiers who had decided to abandon dugouts defending Garowe and Puntland from, ostensibly, the Somaliland national army.
The soldiers were among hundreds if not thousands of civilian militias that the Puntland authorities collected from Buuhoodle and Sool regions to defend Puntland leaders’ interests since Somaliland never stated it had any business crossing over the Puntland and Somalia side of the colonial border which defined boundaries between Somaliland and Somalia.
Minister Qambi welcomed the unit at Arro Weyn, Buuhoodle, and told them that from henceforth they were to be fully trained as members of the highly disciplined national army.
Colonel Abokor Sulub, area Commander, also told them that the government of Somaliland and its Ministry of Defense would accord them full rights compatible with their new status.
Jama Abdi Aziz Ahmed, speaking on behalf of the new arrivals detailed inhibiting circumstances which beset them while staying on the Puntland side which included uncertain future, constant propaganda bombardments, depressing living conditions and other suppressive conditions which helped them reach a quick decision.
Puntland has amassed hordes of militias supporting a small number of its army and near Tukaraq. They told the former civilians and herdsmen that Somaliland was slaughtering their kin in the area and advancing on Garowe. These men started leaving the frontline as soon as they realized they were grossly misled. They also discovered that they were neither to be given salaries nor any other rights as fully-fledged army personnel.
This latest batch was preceded by hundreds more all of whom had been drafted to join the Somaliland army.