Puntland Federal State President Calls for Clan Warfare Against Somaliland – Again


“Las Anod is not London. Huddun is not Birmingham.Taleeh is not Cardiff!”

Abdiweli Mohamed Gass, the President of the Federal State of Somalia of Puntland, opening the 41st session of the 66-member parliament, Saturday, again called his people to a clan-based war against the Republic of Somaliland over Sool region.

Speaking to the parliamentarians in a heated, emotion-ridden atmosphere, Mr. Gass vowed to liberate Sool from what he called ‘the oppressors’ occupying Las Anod and the rest of Sool.

“We will drive off the occupiers who have jailed, subjugated and oppressed the people of Las Anod and the Sool region soon,” he cried.

Accusing Somaliland of starting the war, he said “this is like no other war we have been engaged in before. This one poses a wide-spectrum, adverse effect on our country, people, faith and government”, implying that the people in Somaliland and Puntland did not follow the same religious faith – a cry that was not used since 1960.

“It is a war that crossed all ethical boundaries based on falsehood, terrorism, and ethnic-hatred,” he stated.

Mr. Gass went on to say that Sool belonged to Puntland alone – ‘people-wise and land-wise’, and not someplace that could be equally claimed  or contested by both Somaliland and Puntland.

“We recognize no colonial boundaries,” he said. “We, the Dervishes, fought hard to overthrow the yoke of colonialism, losing thousands of lives”, shouted, overlooking the fact that Somaliland was a British Protectorate while Somalia, under which Puntland (the former Majeertania region) fell was an Italian colony who had nothing with Sool of Somaliland or the war Sayyed Muhammad (Mad Mullah) waged against British forces in the first quarter of the 29th century.

Despite the fact that Somalia was a signatory to the Cairo conference of the Organization of African Unity (OAU) in 1964 at the end of which the participants resolved that colonial borders be left as they were for fear of chaos and anarchy resulting from clan-based demarcations – exactly the one Abdiweli called for yesterday.

“We only recognize the regional boundaries set out by former Somalia governments demarcating Sool region from Togdheer, and nothing more. Las Anod (capital of Sool, Somaliland) and Garowe (capital of Puntland State) will have no dividing borders,” he insisted.

Defending his logic, he said, colonial borders were a thing of the past and the very thing people ‘fought to abolish’.

Directly calling the President of Somaliland by name, Mr. Gass yelled: “if the British had given you Sool, I assure you it is not theirs to give”.

To emphasize his point, Mr. Gass cited three Sool towns, shouting across the room at a cheering, and often noisily interrupting audience: “Las Anod is not London. Huddun is not Birmingham.  Taleeh is not Cardiff!”.

He went to reduce everyone loyal to the Somaliland case in the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and Buuhoodle as people who were only interested in begging and salaries.

“Sool is not a begging bowl to draw salaries from Hargeisa. Sool is not a briefcase to board a plane with, the content of which aimed to solicit diplomatic recognition from the world,” he hollered.

Ending his emotionally fraught diatribe at the occasion, Mr Gass asked the parliamentarians and all of Puntland to unreservedly support his troops and the militias collected from clans in the Sool and Puntland regions fielded ‘to liberate the persecuted and tyrannized people of Sool’.


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