A senior member of the government in Somalia's separatist region of Somaliland has appealed for cooperation with the neighboring state of Puntland, Radio Garowe reports.
Dr. Mohamed Abdi Gabose, a practicing medical doctor and Somaliland's new interior minister, told a press conference in Hargeisa Sunday that Somaliland "has started making good connections" with officials in Puntland.
|Dr Mohamed Gabose, Somaliland's interior minister|
"Somaliland and Puntland share many things that cannot be hidden or denied based on brotherhood for the common interests of both. From now on, we [Somaliland] want to on security matters because it seems there are anti-peace groups who want to threaten our peace," said Dr. Gabose, Somaliland's Internal Affairs Minister appointed by President Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo, who won Somaliland’s presidential election in June.
Dr. Gabose praised Puntland's government for the "war against insurgents and anti-peace groups" in the region.
Last month, Dr. Gabose said Somaliland authorities are worried about the Galgala militants allied to Al Shabaab who have been defeated by Puntland troops in the Golis mountain range that stretches between Somaliland and Puntland.
Separately, Somaliland's interior minister said local police have captured a "man suspected of the October 2008 bombings" in Hargeisa, which targeted the Somaliland presidential palace, a United Nations office, and an Ethiopian trade office in Hargeisa, capital of Somaliland.
He did not provide details of the suspect’s case, but Dr. Gabose said Somaliland had increased its "intelligence an security capacity to prevent further terrorist attacks."
No official in the government of Puntland has publicly responded to Dr. Gabose's offer of security cooperation between Somaliland and Puntland authorities.
The two neighboring stable regions in northern Somalia have been recognized as part of a "two-track" U.S. engagement policy for Somalia recently.
Somaliland and Puntland have had troubled relations over Sool and Sanaag regions since 2002, including sporadic military clashes.
Puntland President Abdirahman Mohamed Farole has demanded that Somaliland withdraw its troops from Las Anod, one of Puntland's major towns in Sool region, which was seized by Somaliland forces in Oct. 2007.
Somaliland's new administration President Silanyo has publicly stated that it will pursue "peaceful negotiations" on the matter of Sool and Sanaag regions.
Located in northwestern Somalia, Somaliland unilaterally declared independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 but has not gained international recognition as an independent country.
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