BOSASO, Somalia – At least five people have wounded on Tuesday in an armed clash broke out between soldiers loyal to sacked director of Puntland Security Forces [PSF] and other security forces in Bosaso town.
Tuesday’s skirmish flared up amid a brewing tension between Puntland leadership Said Deni and PSF director Mohamud Osman Diano who refused his dismissal last month.
Diano’s troops set up defensive lines in Bosaso.
Many people have reportedly fled their homes when an armed clash flared up in the town on Tuesday.
Tension has been escalating since last month Osman refused to leave post after he was fired by President Deni on Nov 24. Deni also appointed Mohamed Amin as his replacement.
Last week, Bossaso’s situation has deteriorated after president Deni refused a proposal by the traditional elders to give the ousted commander Diano a houses, vehicles, and weapons.
According to a statement seen by Mareeg Online, this was a pre-condition for the handover of power to the new director, Mohamed Amin who has been in the town since last month without an office to operate due to the standoff.
Mr. Deni refused the proposal, saying it would damage to Puntland state’s government, as well as encouraging corruption in public property, and termed it as “unacceptable and unlawful”.
He says he had “closed the door” to any negotiations with the sacked PSF commander, adding that he would use military means to find a solution to the PSF leadership crisis.
The president said that there will be no institution belonging to an individual in Puntland and vowed to end a family business in the US-backed PSF.
What is PSF?
It was initially known as Puntland Intelligence Service (PIS) when formed in 2002, with support from the US. In 2010 PIS was split into 2 units – Puntland Intelligence Agency (PIA) and Puntland Security Forces (PSF).
Supported by the US, PSF is now estimated to be a battalion.
There were efforts to merge PSF with US trained Somali special commandos known as “Danab” earlier this year but that was not successful, according to sources, who asked to be anonymous.
It was also reported that the support from the US was disrupted (possibly ceased) following the repositioning of US forces from Somalia.
The counter-terrorism agency since its foundation in 2004 was ruled by the family of Osman Diyano – from the father and his two sons, making millions of US dollars from the Pentagon.