Erigavo, Sanaag, Somaliland, Somalia –
A new rebel group has emerged in Somaliland’s Sanaag region. Referred to as a twin group to the earlier announced Garhajis militia from Ga’an Libaah mountain, the new group was spotted on the outskirts of Erigavo last night. Erigavo, also known as Ceerigaabo, is the capital and largest city of the Sanaag region of Somaliland.
The group, allegedly belonging to the Eastern Garhajis, has threatened the Somaliland government with war. In a video seen by the Somali Digest, one of the armed militiamen claims they took up arms to save Somaliland from a “dictatorship of Muse Bihi Abdi,” Somaliland’s President.
It is a different, yet related group to the earlier announced Garhajis militia, which launched its rebellion last month from the area around Ga’an Libaah mountain. The rebel group has been referred to as the Ga’an Libaah forces or the Garhajis militia due to its affiliation with the Garhajis sub-clan of the larger Isaaq clan. The group was allegedly organised and funded within less than four weeks and now comprises over 1,000 fully armed militiamen.
The militia claims it is fighting for the liberation of Garhajis clan territories and against Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi Abdi. They no longer hide their intentions of taking over territory within the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland, situated along the Garhajis-inhabited areas.
Sunday clashes in Dari Mara
The Garhajis militia clashed on Sunday afternoon with the Somaliland army in Dari Mara, a village near the Ga’an Libaah mountain, which serves as the rebel base. Both sides had been close to each other for the past few days before the confrontation.
According to the rebel group’s spokesman, Ahmed Ali Haybe, the fighting lasted approximately one hour. When the Somaliland forces from the Rapid Response Unit (RRU), together with police officers deployed from Hargeisa, arrived at the scene, they were attacked by the rebel militia from several sides. Some reports indicate that the RRU commanding general has been killed, but this could not be independently confirmed.