Gabiley, 18 Jul 2009 (Somalilandpress) — Some 17 army trucks and their soldiers rolled into Elbardale farmlands on Thursday, shifted out of Sool region to help restore security following last week’s violent clashes that left five dead and three wounded after a farmland dispute sparked a fresh feud between two rivalry clans in the Gabiley region.
The latest clashes between the Hared and Mohamud Nur clans is the fourth time armed conflict has broken out in the region in the past six months. Both clans claim ownership of the land and efforts to resolve the crisis have failed in the past but now the government plans to establish a military post in the region.
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Along with the 17 trucks from Sool, the government also moved army divisions from Burao to Gabiley and Awdal regions as reinforcement as well as fresh police to work alongside the military.
In a related development, Rayale also fired his commerce minister, Mr Osman Qasim Qodah and the minister of the Presidency, Mr Amin Nur Ismael – after they disagreed on the Elbardale conflict.
The government also arrested Radio Horyaal journalists Mohamed Osman Mire and Ahmed Saleban Dhuhul, and has closed Horn Cable TV (HCTV) over their reports on Elbardale on orders from attorney general. The authority accuses both private media of stirring up the rift.
Many accuse the president of fueling the unrests during pre-election period so election can be postponed again for the third time – Somaliland is poised to hold presidential elections on September 27.
Mediation efforts to resolve the conflict through diplomatic channels are also underway both in Awdal and Gabiley region.
Meanwhile, Somaliland elders, religion leaders, Diaspora communities, opposition parties and the government have all called for calm and both sides to break a ceasefire. Tribal disputes are common among Somalis even in Somaliland.