Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Puntland Security Forces Defect To Somaliland

(Waridaad) - According to SL Times sources in Las Anod, the administrative capital of Sool region, a large group of Puntland’s armed forces and three high ranking officials serving in Puntland government defected on Thursday to Somaliland’s armed forces stationed in Sool region.

The current band of defectors coming from Puntland’s security forces number 50-55 men, and include two former
Puntland regional heads of police and a deputy regional governor.
Mr Saeed Ahmed, one of the high ranking Puntland police officials who defected to Somaliland on Thursday was accompanied by 50-55 of his police men and was taken to the garrison town of Oog, the headquarters of Somaliland’s armed forces in Sool region.

Saeed Ahmed was the head of Sool police force for Puntland and had fled to Garowe last month when Somaliland captured Las Anod from Puntland.
The other high ranking Puntland police official who defected from Puntland’s administration to Somaliland is Mr Ahmed M Hassan, the former regional head of Puntland’s police force for Ayn region (part of Togdheer/Sool region). Mr Hassan along with the former Deputy Governor of Puntland’s Ayn region, Mr Jama Ismail Dhimbil arrived on Thursday night in Buroa (administrative town of Togdheer) straight from Garowe.

Former Puntland Interior Minister, Ahmed Habsade who currently leads the anti-Puntland team of Sool region politicians and clan figures confirmed to the SL Times that these three officials and a force of 50-55 policemen from Puntland security forces defected to Somaliland.

Meanwhile, Somaliland’s head of armed forces, General Nuh Ismail Tani, held a press conference Thursday at his office in Hargeysa to refute an article published on Wednesday in a local newspaper which reported the “defection of a number of Somaliland armed forces personnel stationed in Sool region who crossed over to Puntland, taking with them 8 gun mounted vehicles belonging to Somaliland’s armed forces.” General Tani stated that the vehicles that were taken by the defectors to the Puntland side were two, not eight.

Source: Somaliland Times

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