MOGADISHU, Somalia, – Somalia’s semi-autonomous state president Said Deni has nullified a deal by local elders over head of Puntland Security Forces’ dismissal, amid raising fears that an armed clash could erupt anytime in Bosaso town.
Bossaso, the main source of Puntland’s income, is on the vergde of a war between the state president Deni’s armed forces and supporters of ousted commander Mohamud Osman Diyanno, a powerful figure in the town.
Tensions escalated on Tuesday after president Deni refused to accept a deal proposed by traditional elders that demands commander Diano to hand over the power but to keep all the arms and vehicles and that Puntland authorities to pay the salaries of Diano’s guards for 13 months.
Mr. Deni described the deal as “damaging to Puntland state’s governance and further fueling corruption in public funds.”
He rejected all the demands of the elders, noting that military action would be taken, saying that all door to dialogue and negotiation had been closed.
Last month, nearly one hundred of soldiers joined other forces loyal to the sacked commander Diano after disobeying an order to carry out an offensive to dislodge Diano’s forces from Bosaso town.
Some say they are not ready to fight against their fellow soldiers fighting for their rights.
Bossaso residents say they are extremely worried about a possible war between the rival forces within the Puntland army.
There have been calls to de-escalate the tension and opt for dialogue to fix the dispute over PSF’s leadership crisis.
President Said Deni has been accused of attempting to “politicise” the regional army after replacing top PSF’s brass.
The long-serving boss has rejected the dismissal and began mobilization of troops in the port city of Bossaso in defiance of the president’s decision. This has led a tension in the region.
Bosaso, a commercial hub lies some 1,300 kilometers (800 miles) north of Mogadishu.