Somaliland: Fears of Renewed Conflict amid Somaliland Troops’ Build up Near Flashpoint Town

Tension is mounting in northern Somalia after the breakaway region of Somaliland deployed hundreds of troops and battlewagons outside a town controlled by a rival regional state in what many see as a precursor of a new military incursion.

 Residents in Buhodle town, the provincial capital of Khaatumo state, a Somali government backed regional state said that Somaliland troops’ movements outside the town started after Somali lawmakers paid visit to the town this week.

However, forces from the two sides clashed around the town numerous times last year.

Somaliland considers Somalia as a barrier standing in its way of winning an international recognition.

Alarmed by the new military manauver, Khaatumo state mobilized its forces in an anticipation of a major Somaliland attack.

Headed by the former Somali Prime Minister Ali Khalif Galaydh, the regional state which controls disputed areas that Somaliland seized from its neighbouring Puntland has been fighting Somaliland for years during which Somaliland troops seized its old headquarters last year.

Somaliland which had declared a unilateral independence from the rest of Somalia in 1991 aims to consolidate territory as parts of decades-old struggle which aims to attract the international community’s attention in the hope of securing an international recognition.

The enclave which often accuses Somali government arming Khaatumo which maintains its status as a Somali region sees the regional state as a secret plot which was designed to annex parts of its territory.