A number of Somaliland army officers switched sides on Thursday, aligning themselves with the SCC-Khatumo forces.
The identities of the officers have not been disclosed. However, it’s known that they were stationed in the Sama-Kaab region and originally hail from the Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn regions.
These regions’ top traditional clan chief, Garad Jama Garad Ali, along with other officials, extended a warm welcome to the officers in Las Anod town. Garad Ismail expressed satisfaction over the officers recognizing and standing up against the oppression and violence towards the SCC community.
Garad Jama acknowledged the officers’ strategic importance in the Sama-Kaab area. He also encouraged other officers with familial ties to the SCC region currently serving in the Somaliland army to consider defecting.
Garad Jama also called for the president of Somaliland to withdraw his troops from Las Anod to prevent the conflict from escalating, emphasizing that the time for unity between Somaliland and the SCC-Khatumo forces has ended.
Just a day prior to this group defection, Dahir Mohamed Ahmed, the education commissioner for Somaliland’s Sool region, also joined the SCC-Khatumo movement. He was warmly received by traditional elders, including Las Anod Mayor Abdihakin Ali Ismail and military officers.
Ahmed said he was committed to aiding the Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn communities in their efforts to reunify with the federal government.
Earlier this week, an undisclosed number of defectors, including a military commander from Somaliland, joined the SCC-Khatumo forces in the Sool region. SCC-Khatumo commander, Abdi Madobe, commended the defected commander and his troops for cooperating with local forces.