Puntland’s security minister has accused the neighboring Somaliland breakaway of aiding militants fighting their administration in a mountainous village in north-eastern Somalia.
Speaking to the reporters on Friday, Mr. Hassan Osman has warned of a potential war between the two administrations in the wake of the seizure of a ship arms and battlewagons by Somaliland which he said was intended for arming Al-Shabab fighters fighting Puntland forces.
“We tell to the international community that the Hargeisa administration has close relations with the extremists aspiring to harm our troubled Somali people.” Mr. Osman told reporters, referring to the Somaliland.
His remarks come one week after Somaliland said it seized a ship carrying illegal arms, including battlewagons at Berbera port in the region. The ship which reportedly navigated from Sudan is still being held at the port.
No details about the type of the weapons have so far been released by Somaliland.
However, the minister has referred the development as a serious turning point for the two regions fighting for the control of land for years, accusing Somaliland of misleading the world on the arms ownership which he said fell into their hands.
“Those illegal arms were imported in violation of the UN’s Somalia arms embargo by Somaliland.” Mr. Osman declared.
Somaliland which declared an independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 is yet to gain an international recognition. However, Puntland maintains it’s status of being parts of Somalia.
The prolonged conflict between Somaliland and Puntland started in 1998, when Puntland was formed and it declared towns claimed by Somaliland as part of its territory.