Armed Militias loyal to and equipped by the Mogadishu Somalia administration and belonging to the Somaliland splinter ‘movement’ of Khatumo burned down two telecom relay towers that Somtel and Telesom telecommunication giants of Somaliland owned.
The two towers were in the Horufadhi area of Sool region and were guarded by unarmed civilian caretakers only.
A spokesperson for the insurgents who called himself a spokesman for the ‘cabinet of ministers of Khatumo, Ahmed Gacma Yare, told the media that it was their militia that burned down the towers.
The Spokesperson said his group opposed the circulation of the Somaliland Shilling, and that they had sent notes to the two companies on the matter.
Telesom and Somtel, who both have mobile money transfer facilities, added Somaliland Shilling features to their USSN features to help ease the escalating foreign currency inflation and skyrocketing living conditions in Somaliland.
An officer speaking on behalf of Telesom in Buuhoodle called the act barbaric and said it served nothing but to isolate subscribers who depended on the two companies for communication.
“The towers belonged to civilian companies in which residents of the affected areas had a stake in,” he said.
The Khatumo insurgency is openly aided and abetted by the Federal government of Mogadishu which provides them an administrational base, logistics, military hardware and political support.
The so-called Khatumo militia is led a by a failed, one-time Somalia prime minister, Ali Khalif Galaydh following his failure on a bid for a Somalia presidency that the incumbent Hassan Sheikh beat him to. Galaydh, himself, was a one-time shareholder of Somtel in the ’90s.
It is not yet clear what steps the Somaliland army will take as the protection of lives and property within the Republic of Somaliland borders falls under their responsibility.