Sunday, February 12, 2012

Buhoodle Conflict Claims Somaliland Army Chief

Buhoodle conflict claims Somaliland army chief

HARGEISA — President Ahmed Silanyo dismissed the country’s army chief on Thursday after a week of escalating tensions and fresh clashes left scores dead in eastern regions.

General Mohamed Hassan Abdullahi (also known as “Jidif”) was fired after only 90 days on the job since replacing the former long serving General Nuh Ismail Tani in early December.

Ahmed Mohamed Silanyo’s office, in a statement on Thursday, said Jidif will be replaced by General Ismail Mohamed Osman “Shakale”. General Shakale served under the Somali National Movement (SNM), one of the rebel groups that toppled Mohamed Siad Bare, Somalia’s last dictator, as a regiment commander. Before his appointment he was serving in the troubled eastern regions and has been credited for his leadership skills and actions against the tribal separatist in Buhoodle region.

President Silanyo also fired Ibrahim Aideed Ahmed, the tactical operations commander of the armed forces, replacing him with immediate effect by Abdullahi H. Jama on the same day.

No reason was given as to why they were sacked but reports from Hargeisa claim friction between the President and the army chief has spiked after Jidif accused Silanyo of holding the army back. He told a local television station that President Silanyo was blocking the army from carrying pre-emptive strikes against the tribal insurgents. He insisted they were only ordered to remain in their bases and were like a sitting ducks highly vulnerable to attacks.

Recent clashes in Buhoodle claimed the lives of 14 soldiers and injured another 21 from the army and four trucks. On the militia side 43 were killed, over 70 wounded and 14 were captured. It was the bloodiest conflict in Somaliland in recent years and it has displaced thousands in Buhoodle. A conflict that also claimed the job of two of Somaliland’s highest ranking military men.


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