August 12, 2012 ·26 Comments
BURAO — Somaliland government forces are expected to pull back from parts of the district of Sool-Jogto in Buhodle under a peace treaty with rebels.
The defence and interior ministries have announced that the army will withdraw from villages in Buhodle region after President Ahmed Silanyo signed an immediate ceasefire and peace accord with rebels.
The move to relocate the army comes a day after high-powered defence and ministerial delegation arrived in Burao with the chairman of SSC rebel group, Suleiman Isse Ahmed ‘Hagaltosie’.
The two sides agreed to ease of any military activities in the troubled eastern region and to exchange prisoners. As a gesture of good faith, the government is releasing more than 68 prisoners captured during the Buhodle clashes in the last two years.
On his part, Mr. Ahmed has accepted the ceasefire terms of the peace plan and promised to disarm all militias operating in the Buhodle and parts of Sool regions.
The plan includes relocating the heavily armed troops and the rebels to cease all hit-and-run attacks against government interest.
This is the first time the government and the SSC rebels have discussed the cessation of hostilities and ending the conflict that has displaced hundreds of families.
Hargeisa hopes to strike similar deal with the much weaker Khaatumo rebels operating near Somaliland’s border with Somalia. The government and Mr. Ahmed have both strongly condemned their activities accusing them of destabilising the region.
It was just last month when Khaatumo fighters tried to assisinate the SSC leader in Buhodle township following the ceasefire deal with President Silanyo.
The national army, deployed heavily across the eastern parts of the country, is far superior in numbers and firepower than the rebel fighters. The government recently called on the United Nations to lift arms embargo in a bid to acquire modern hardware and training.
August 12, 2012Follow @somalilandpress