The Escalating tension in Tukaraq town in northern Sool region has heightened fears that armed conflict between Puntland and Somaliland is fast approaching, Garowe Online reports.
The territorial dispute between the two neighboring states renewed following the capture of Tukaraq, about 90Km north of Garowe, the administrative capital of Puntland by Somaliland forces on January 8.
The lucrative village had been fully controlled Puntland troops and served as a customs center and main entrance to the contested region before it fell to the regional army early this month, sparking tension.
Muse Bihi who was elected as the fifth President of Somaliland in November 2017, has voiced support to state troops’ incursion and capture of Tukaraq, saying Somaliland regained a lost territory.
Bihi is a former air force military colonel and member of the Somali National Movement, (SNM), a rebel group that fought for years the secession of the northern regions from the rest of Somalia.
Somaliland’s new council of ministers and parliament, which its speaker hails from Sool region have similarly endorsed the military invasion of Tukaraq, where Puntland forces were stationed.