Somaliland: Ex-Renegade Arre Transfers 180 of his Militia to Government

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The government of the Republic of Somaliland, today, welcomed back to its official fold 180 ex-combatants loyal to ex-renegade, colonel Saed Awil Arre, outside the Sanaag regional capital of Erigavo.

Active with him, reports indicate were only about 70. The rest were either in sleeping celss or tounded up to take advantage of the  army recruitment ofer.

The settlement followed nearly a year-long mediation effort by a voluntary elders’ committee from the renegade colonel’s clan family between the clan militias and the government. The effort was doubly significant because it prevented blood let between the two sides and the avoidable loss of lives on both sides.

The transfer, though, it appeared, was not without conditions.

“If Sanaag was closed to development because od the threat posed by the militias lurking in the mountains, the way is open now. The ball is now in the government’s court,” Mayor of Erigavo, Ismail Hajio Nur said, meaning that there were no more government excuses to withhold regional development.

“The Tab’a road down to Mait and the seaport of Mait itself are waiting for the development the government promised,” he added, making it crystal clear that, to him, the two projects, belonging to his clan areas, were a fair exchange of the militias nationalized.

Other speakers including the Mayor of Mait, Hussein Sheikh Saed, Ahmed Kulli Kulli, traditional leaders, including Boqor Mohamed and Abdirahman Gott – the leader of the mediating committee, all echoed the conditional surrender of the militias.

Despite the veiled omens portended by the unwritten conditions on the side of the elders and government leaders speaking in clan-specific terms, the surrender of the militias and their leader was widely welcomed throughout Somaliland. It brings nearly a three-year-long rift between the government and some sections of the clan the militias represented to an end.

Colonel Arre first crossed to Puntland where he was warmly welcomed, given an operations base, donned a Somalia general uniform, and decorated as a ‘fighter for justice’ hero’ despite unconcealed clan lacings.

He was kicked out by the incumbent Puntland after militias he led killed unarmed old men and children in areas of Sanaag region where his clan was fighting another clan over grazing and water rights.

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