Somaliland maintains links with Al Shabaab-Unveils Puntland

Puntland

GAROWE, Somalia March 25, 2013 (Garowe Online)-Puntland government in northern Somalia voiced concern over the relations between Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab group and Somaliland's separatist administration, branding the two twins and close friends, Garowe Online reports.

"Puntland security agencies have been put on standby and are on high alert for possible terror attacks. Al Shabaab receives support and warm welcome from Somaliland because Al Shabaab and Somaliland are twins," Puntland Security Minister Hassan Osman Alorre said in an interview with Puntland-based independent station, Radio Garowe on Tuesday. 

When asked about the arrival of hundreds of Somaliland troops in Sanaag region and the recent visit to Laasqoray coastal town by Somaliland leader Ahmed Mohamed Mohamud (Siilaanyo), Allore went on to say: "Somaliland [forces] haven't reached Baran, they are in Erigavo and its surroundings. Those areas are roamed by fugitive Al Shabaab members from southern Somalia and as you know Al Shabaab is too hostile to Puntland but Al Shabaab militants have gained free means of access to Puntland from Somaliland. They [Somaliland and Al Shabaab] keep each other safe".

"If he was rather keen on Laasqoray, he would remain in the town. What are those pledges? The native residents are Puntland people," added Security Minister while he was talking about pledges made for Laasqoray residents during Somaliland President's visit.

Meanwhile, speaking to reporters in Somaliland capital of Hargeisa the chairman of Somaliland's House of Elders Salaban Mohamud Adan (Saleban Gaal) noted that Somaliland is not ready to wage war on Puntland, calling on Puntland government officials to work for the common good.

Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas on Monday accused Somaliland of financing Al Shabaab fighters operating in Galgala area near Golis Mountain ranges in northern Somalia.

President Gaas today toured Puntland defense forces on the frontline in Galgala near Bossaso Port city where deadly battles have been taking place since mid-2010 when Al Shabaab militants honed planned assassinations, direct confrontations and bombings in Puntland.

Somaliland and Puntland have been at loggerheads over the ownership of Sool and Sanaag regions, with threats of instability lingering over the region after Somaliland militarily seized Lasanod in October 2007.

GAROWE ONLINE