Somaliland has accused Somalia’s federal government of fueling fighting in the village of Tukarak between the self-declared republic and Puntland region.
Heavy fighting broke out on Thursday (24 May) between Somaliland and Puntland forces in Tukarak, with each side accusing the other of starting the fighting.
Somaliland Information Minister Abdirahman Guri-Barwaqo accused the rival administration of taking advantage of the situation as Somaliland deals with the aftermath of a devastating tropical cyclone that left dozens dead.
“Today, at about six in the morning, Somali federal government forces tried to attack the bases of the Somaliland national army on the outskirts of Tukarak, while trying to take advantage of the situation on the ground,” the minister said.
The clashes come as both Somaliland and Somaliland try to deal with the effects of cyclone Sagar with hit the Horn of Africa at the weekend, leaving dozens dead and wiping out farms and livestock.
The UN says Sagar has left “massive destruction in its wake”
Somaliland authorities estimate that up to 670,000 people have been affected, with at least 25 people killed and dozens more missing.
Puntland said Somaliland started the fresh clashes in Tukarak.
Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has in the past called on both sides to resolve their differences through dialogue.
In January and earlier this month, Somaliland and Puntland forces also clashed in Tukarak.
Both sides both claim ownership of the village, which is located in Sool region.
Somaliland declared independence from the rest of Somalia 27 years ago but is yet to achieve any formal international recognition as a sovereign state.