The tension between Somaliland and Puntland over disputed areas in Sool and Sanaag regions risks escalating into a full-scale war, a leading international think tank has warned.
The International Crisis Group (ICG) called on the United Nations and “states with influence on the two sides” to bring the two sides to the negotiaton table.
“Both sides are using incendiary rhetoric, are massing forces in the contested areas and have shunned UN diplomacy,” the ICG said.
An escalation “could provoke enormous displacement”, it added.
“The UN should renew its mediation, with the Somali government and Ethiopia, which enjoys ties to Puntland and Somaliland, backing those efforts.”
Late last month, dozens of people were killed in heavy fighting between Puntland and Somaliland troops in a disputed region.
The fighting started after Puntland troops reportedly tried to retake Tukarak in Sool region, from Somaliland forces who captured the village in January. According to media reports, more than 45 people were killed.
Somaliland and Puntland have long-standing disputes over the Sool and Sanaag border regions that separate the two. Due to the disputes, their troops occasionally clash.