By: Yusuf M Hasan
HARGEISA (Somalilandsun) – Five Senior officers have defected from the Khatumo clan militias based in sool region.
The five officers who arrived in Hargeisa to a warm welcome from a government delegation led by the minister of defense Hon Ahmed Haji Adami, Resettlement and national Reconstruction minister Dr. Suleiman Isse Ahmed “Commander Hagaltosie” and Deputy Interior minister in-charge of administration Hon Osman Garad Sofe as well as a large number of excited and curious citizens from all walks of life.
At a brief welcoming ceremony at Hargeisa’s Halaye check point the government team thanked the former clan militia officers for their bold decision of discarding armed combat and joining hands with other citizens for peaceful change and development.
Speaking on behalf of the former militia officers, Irro Suleiman Magan the senior most of the defectors, thanked the people and government of Somaliland for embracing them back into normal life despite their past activities that entailed armed skirmishes with the national army.
As per their defections Mr. Magan who informed that their original bone of contention with the government has been turned into secession from Somaliland thus their dissatisfaction and subsequent laying down of arms.
Said he, “We had original taken up arms in-order to correct grievances with the government that we perceived as dishing out a raw deal to residents of Sool region’
He revealed that disillusion within the militias ensued early 2012 when some politicians fronted by Ali Khalif Galayd, a Somali MP, turned a Dulbahante clan meeting in Taleeh to a declaration of secession and subsequent establishment of a state dubbed Khatumo.
“While our grievances was with the government and not the Republic of Somaliland, the turn of event from agitation for equal treatment to secession became unthinkable” Said Magan who stressed on the fact that they started their insurrection as Somalilanders and hoped to come to terms with the government of the day as Somalilanders.
The defectors also thanked their former boss and now minister of Resettlement and national Reconstruction Dr Suleiman Isse Ahmed for his bold move that saw him and the head of state H.E Ahmed Mahmud Silanyo sign the now under implementation Buhodle Peace Accord.
Saying that they have finally taken a journey long overdue and feel happy about the move the defectors who addressed Minister Suleiman Isse their former militia boss turned peacemaking politician by his Nome de Guerra of “Commander Hagaltosie” asked him to see to it that they are assimilated into the regular army as they were professional soldiers and would be lost out of disciplined forces.
The five defectors from the Khatumo militia are:
1. Irro Suleiman Magan
2. Mahad Nuur Weerar
3. Dag-jar Mahmud Baidan
4. Abdi Adde
5. Hussein Mahmud Baidan
The defection of the five senior officers from the militias in Sool region is a fatal injury to the Khatumoist’s and will exacerbate the dying kicks of secession that ensued immediately after the “Commander Hagaltosie” fronted Buhodle peace accord and subsequent defeat and routing of the militias by the national army.
Another factor that is slowly destroying the Khatumoist’s from within is the withdrawal of funding by paymaster Abdirahman Farole and his regional administration of Puntland which finds itself encumbered by forthcoming elections.
While the forthcoming elections which are the first in Puntland are part of difficulties for the Sool based Khatumoist’s, the administration in Garowe town is further disillusion by the strong allegiance to Somaliland shown by residents of East Sanaag and Sool regions thus an impediment to Farole’s plans of annexing the two areas of Somaliland.
With all the math’s stacked against Farole’s initial plans of annexing the two parts of the country’s eastern regions and his later project of funding the Khatumo secessionists the Puntland administration has made a big about-turn that revolves around ending hostilities and initiating low level negotiations with his past nemesis, the Hargeisa based Government of Somaliland.