Somalia: Puntland lawmakers want Somaliland to be declared terrorist state

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GAROWE, Puntland - A group of Puntland lawmakers now want to declare Somaliland a terrorist state, arguing that the region is responsible for the emergence of Al-Shabaab militants in sections of the country, particularly in Bari and Sanaag regions.

During Sunday's session, the regional MPs proposed that Somaliland to be added the list of entities sponsoring Al-Shabaab, which is wreaking havoc in the country for a decade. Puntland is battling Al-Shabaab and ISIS in the coastal Bari region.

Further, the legislators said Somaliland has grossly abused international treaties by displacing thousands of people from the Las Anod in the Sool region in the past few weeks. UN estimates over 70,000 people have so far been kicked out of Las Anod and other areas in Somaliland. 

The MPs, who hail from the Ayn region have not presented clear evidence if indeed Somaliland supports Al-Shabaab.

The claims come just hours after Al-Shabaab militants attacked a military base hosting Puntland forces Saturday morning sparking a clash between the two sides. It was the first major Al-Shabaab attack in as many months within Puntland.

Sources said the militants attacked Af-Urur military base with mortars, prompting Puntland troops to respond with heavy artillery, a Puntland official confirmed. Residents who witnessed the morning incident reported hearing gunshots from both sides around the station.

Af-Urur base located in the Galgala ranges has been a battleground between Al-Shabaab and Puntland Security Forces. The militants stormed the town in June 2017 resulting in the death of at least 50 people majority reportedly being Puntland forces.

The militants also made a come back in June 2019 but were pushed back by Puntland forces after three days of battle.

GAROWE ONLINE

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