Garad Jama Garad Ismail and 14 other cultural elders visited the Buuhoodle district in the Ayn (Cayn) region of Northern Somalia, sending a strong message to Somaliland and the Isaaq clans: While peace is preferred, SSC-Khaatumo will be prepared for war if that is what Somaliland desires.
Buuhoodle district, Ayn region, SSC-Khaatumo, SOMALIA.
Speaking on behalf of the delegation, Garad Jama Garad Ismail introduced the cultural elders representing the Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn regions. He emphasised their unity and purpose, highlighting the presence of all decision-makers. The cultural elders sought advice and guidance on handling the evolving situation. They expressed their preference for peace but also assured their readiness to confront any possible aggression.
Garad Jama addressed the ongoing stages of the conflict. The first stage included the initial fighting in Las Anod. The second stage concerned the defeat of Somaliland forces and the liberation of SSC-Khaatumo. The region is currently in the third stage, seeking peace and engaging with neighbouring parties. Although peace would be the preferred option, Garad Jama warned that if the rival side chooses violent confrontation, SSC-Khaatumo will respond adequately.
Preparations for clan conflict
Garad Jama stressed that SSC-Khaatumo’s dispute with Somaliland was not with its civilian population, including herders and neighbours, with whom they enjoyed peaceful coexistence. Their conflict was with the Hargeisa regime, which they had successfully removed from their territory on 25 August. However, if the regime resorted to inciting clan-based conflict, SSC would engage in the fight while still prioritising peace.
Garad Jama’s statement comes at a time when the Somaliland government has been preparing to renew conflict in the SSC-Khaatumo territories, focusing on involving clans in the fighting. Several sources have reported that the Somaliland army provided guns and ammunition to the tribal army in the Togdheer region’s Qorilugud village, indicating their readiness to attack Buuhoodle.
Analysts suggest that the self-proclaimed state might be waiting for the Puntland elections. It probably hopes that Puntland’s internal struggles will weaken SSC-Khaatumo and leave them unprepared for the attack. The warning issued by the cultural elders in Buuhoodle underscores the tense situation and the potential for further violence in the region. It highlights the complex dynamics involving various clans and the need for a peaceful resolution to prevent further escalation.