Somalia: Somaliland pardons soldiers captured in war with Puntland
HARGEISA, Somalia – The leader of Somalia’s northern breakaway Somaliland, Muse Bihi Abdi has pardoned 14 prisoners of war captured during the battle with Puntland in 2018, Garowe Online reports.
The clashes in Tukaraq broke out after Somaliland troop launched an aggressive invasion and annexed the village from Puntland defense forces that have been stationed there in the past.
The battle which saw the capture of the soldiers was the resumption of more than 10 years of periodic conflict between the neighboring Puntland and Somaliland over the disputed Sool region.
In a statement, Abdi said the inmates were released from prisons as part of the efforts by Somalia’s International partners towards eternal peace in the region and the spirit of the Holy Month of Ramadan.
Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991; a year after the long civil war erupted in the country and operates as an independent state but it has not won international recognition for the past 28 years.
Last year, the U.N. and the country’s international partners, which include the United States and the European Union, called on both sides to halt the fighting and engage in serious talks to find a final settlement.