At least 100 soldiers from the self-declared state of Somaliland have defected to the semi-autonomous regional state of Puntland, according to a confirmation statement made by Puntland military officials.
One of Somaliland contingents dubbed Ga’an Liban (Lion paw) comprising of 110 soldiers surrendered to the authorities of Puntland state. The soldiers said that they defected following troubles foisted by the breakaway region Somaliland.
The move comes just three months after the two states fought in open warfare over Tukaraq town in Sool region. Furthermore, the problems rocking Somaliland are partially caused by the wrangles with the Federal Government of Somalia caused by the United Arab Emirates alleged involvement and likely funding to al Shabaab by the Emirati government.
Somaliland, a former British colony, declared its independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been internationally recognized. Puntland is officially a member state of the Federal Republic of Somalia but functions as a semi-autonomous state that generally runs its own affairs.