On Saturday, 16 June 2012, the two clan- based regional administrations of Somalia, Somaliland and Puntland, have launched a coordinated unprovoked attack on the town of Tuka Raq, a Khaatumo State customs post close to Puntland. These two rival regional administrations are often at loggerheads with each other over almost everything and engage in cut-throat rivalry for the favours of the international community. But the only thing that unites them for their different reasons is their common desire to destroy the fledgling Khaatumo State of Somalia before it is able to stand on its own feet, evict its occupiers, prevail over its meddling predatory neighbours and defend its regional and national interests.
Theirs is a race against time- time before Khaatumo State is free and here to stay, and time before a new permanent Somali government comes on stage, a new era of a born-again Somalia dawns that ushers the end of secessions, warlordism and the culture of the survival of the fittest. It is a race they are bound to lose but lack the vision and foresight to realise the doom of their self-defeating predatory illusions.
For the one-clan secessionist enclave calling itself Somaliland, the emergence of the Khaatumo State patently debunks their claim that all the clans in former British Somaliland support the secession, belies their assertion that they are in full control of the regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn (SSC) on which Khaatumo State is based - two facts that negate its recognition prospects if ever there was one. For Faroole, the venal, mean-spirited ex- cab driver in Australia, who made it to the presidency of Puntland through shenanigans, it is his insatiable greed for the mineral resources of the SSC regions that is fuelling his vain mindless vendetta against the SSC people for having the temerity to terminate their membership of Puntland and establish their own Khaatumo State of Somalia at Taleex in January 2012.
According to reliable eye witness reports from Tuka Raq, the Khaatumo customs token defending forces withdrew in the face of two-pronged attack from two sides by the Puntland and Somaliland militias. According to the same reports, Puntland has contracted cash-strapped Somaliland militia 300,000 dollars for the capture of Tuke Raq and its transfer to Puntland's militia. This is what Somaliland did and handsomely paid for. This joint perceived success might encourage both parties, Somaliland and Puntland, to replicate this adventure elsewhere in the Khaatumo State, in particular in Buuhoodle, the second largest town in Khaatumo State where Somaliland failed disastrously in the past after several attempts but might entertain new hopes wit Puntland's assistance.
At a time when the international community had been lately organising conferences on Somalia and committing themselves to the establishment of a new permanent government within a united federal Somalia, it is reprehensible that these two regional States that were participants in these conferences should now engage in activities that completely run counter to the Istanbul declaration. In the footsteps of other countries and notably the Americans, the British were the latest, in the person of its Minister for Africa, to pledge Britain's support for Somalia's unity and territorial integrity. This should have been an eye opener for Somaliland to see the futility of knocking its head against a brick wall in the pursuit of a mirage that is obvious to the whole international community but clearly not themselves.
The international community had threatened to take punitive actions against "spoilers" who block the roadmap towards the achievement of a stable and united Somalia that brings to an end the era of individual, clan or regional warlordism. It is time they put their money where their mouth is and pressure these two rogue regional States in no uncertain terms to get out of the Khaatumo State and mind their own business.
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