Two officials from the breakaway state of Somaliland have defected to neighbouring state of Puntland, reports say.
Puntland minister of Trade, Mohamud Hassan told reporters in the state’s capital of Garowe that the two were local MPs of Lasanod district, capital of Sool region which is currently occupied by Somaliland.
‘’ We will welcome further Mps and officials working under the so-called Somaliland administration over here, soon Sool region will be recaptured by Puntland’’, noted the minister.
The two MPs named, Mokhtar Mahad and Abdullahi Digale Ali were escorted from Tukaraq village, which is 30-kilometres from Garowe, on Monday morning and were warmly welcomed in the state’s capital by officials from Puntland Government.
‘’ We are very happy to come here (Puntland), There is totally injustice in that place (Somaliland). We came here through our people’s choice’’, said one of the defectors who spoke to the reporters.
Somaliland forces seized Las Anod district in October, 2007 after a battle with the Puntland army who were controlling at that time. Since that period, the region has seen several clashes between troops from both sides (Puntland & Somaliland).
Puntland President Dr Abdiweli Mohamed Ali has vowed to bring back the territory of Sool and Sanag regions under Puntland authority which are much of them currently occupied by the self-declared state of Somaliland.