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Somalia: President Deni reinstates sacked PSF commander in Puntland

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BOSSASO, Puntland - Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni on Friday reinstated sacked commander whose removal triggered heavy fighting in Bossaso, the commercial capital of the northeastern Federal state which sits on the Gulf of Aden.

In a long Facebook post, the Puntland State House confirmed defiant Brigadier General Mohamud Osman Diano will continue serving as Puntland Security Forces [PSF] following talks between president Deni and the Bari region's traditional elders.

This leads to the end of a three-month standoff that saw several people lose their lives in Bossaso following a confrontation between PSF troops loyal to the fired director and Puntland security forces in November 2021. The battle came after Diano had refused to hand over the power.

Before reaching the landmark decision to reinstate Diano, President Deni visited Bossaso last week where he held a meeting with senior local leaders and traditional elders. He did not issue any statement before announcing the reinstatement on Friday.

Deni had appointed Mohamed Amin as the new commander of PSF, leading to efforts to solve the dispute, to avoid division within PSF.

In the Statement seen by Garowe Online, Deni named Amin Haji Khayr appointed the Puntland Intelligence Agency [PIA].

PSF was initially known as Puntland Intelligence Service [PIS] when formed in 2002, with support from the US. In 2010 PIS was split into two units - Puntland Intel Agency [PIA] and Puntland Security Forces [PSF]. Supported by the US, PSF is now estimated to be a battalion.

It was also reported that support from the US was disrupted [possibly ceased] following the repositioning of US forces from Somalia, and due to the resistance to rehat PSF to Danab.

When the conflict broke out in Bossaso, the United States asked both sides to declare a ceasefire, arguing that the fallout could lead to a resurgence of Al-Shabaab terrorists in the state. A number of local leaders also opened up mediation talks.

Puntland faces security threats from Al-Shabaab and ISIS-linked militants in Bari mountains who have been battling the security forces for more than a decade.

GAROWE ONLINE

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