Clan chiefs, elders, Officers and Intellectuals from the District of Haafuun were yesterday travelling from different parts of Puntland on their way to the town of Haafun on the Indian Ocean as peace envoys. We are aware of the fighting that started on Sunday morning in Hafuun between Saracen and the town’s people.
The local people woke up on Sunday morning last to find foreign soldiers mainly from South Africa and working Saracen, a company illegally operating in Puntland for the past two years, who sneaked into the town during the night while the town was sleep.
After heated arguments and counter-arguments between the local elders and the Puntland Minister for Security, Mr.Khalif Isse Mudan, and his entourage, the ensued town’s people started demonstrating and emphatically making it clear that they don’t want Saracen in their midst. From there, things got uglier and the soldiers started beating the demonstrators, including women. Five women and a teenage girl got injured with varying degree of severity.
A short while later, gunfire fighting between the Saracen soldiers and the town’s young people started after the minister ordered the soldiers to detain the elders and leaders o the town. The heavy fighting subsided in a couple of hours’ time. The information we are getting suggests that Town’s militia changed tactics as a result of realising that they cannot match the heavier machine gins of Saracen.
Luckily there was no death on either side. However, three lightly wounded militia members we detained and transported to Bosaso, where they remain in custody, together with 7 elders from the town who were detained earlier. As to the fighting itself, it seems that both sides are entrenched for a lengthy battle of wills, where according to some of the fighters that we have spoken to over the claiming that while Saracen might have advantage of machinery and helicopters, we have the advantage of the geography, the support of the people of Haafuun and its surroundings and all the unknown passages the Saracen will perhaps never discover.
Now, all those wise people who were travelling to Haafuun yesterday, will attempt to put some sense into the Minister and his entourage’s brains; convince that the people of Haafuun are within their right to reject illegal foreign Commando army who have to their town to support dangerous materials in their district. They will try to impress on the Minister that it is not it’s futile for the authorities to side with Saracen and fight their very own people, but they will also the support and goodwill of the people of Puntland, who lets them govern. Limited surveys that we have conducted suggests they are right.
Most the people on the streets are convinced that the current Authorities of Puntland are hell-bent on getting their aims, which strangely most of the same people think that government and their so called representatives don’t even what those objectives are. We eagerly await what the fate of those trying to broker some peace in the region, with many predicting that they themselves will be detained on the orders of the presidents family. Let’s wait and see where it all ends.