The latest victory of Somaliland military forces against the skirmishes carried out by the Somali Federal Government forces in the Eastern border of the country is more like a slab on the face of Michael Keating, in addition to being a decisive response that defended the Somaliland military installations in the front-line.
In the last few months, there has been a aggressions taking place at Eastern border of Somaliland with Somalia, involving neighboring Puntland Regional Administration of Somalia, and Michael Keating who is the Special Representative of UN’s General Secretary for Somalia and the Head of UNSOM, has been shuttling in the region for the past few days undertaking what appears to be de-escalation of the sporadic fighting in that area, but actually it turns out to have been what can be called now “Execution of Final Phase of Tukaraq Plot”
On May 12, 2018, Michael Keating was tweeting his stay in Garowe, Puntland
“Back in Puntland, meeting with State President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali Gas to discuss a range of issues including security, strengthening relations with Federal Government & challenges facing the population.”
The border issue with Somaliland came up in the Press Conference given by the duo after their meeting:
“Meeting with President Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland in Hargeisa; covered many topics including humanitarian & economic situation, upcoming local & parliamentary elections, security, conflict resolution, and the role of the UN.”
The timing of this naked aggression by the Somali forces that took place one day later after his departure from Hargeisa casts doubts on the motives of his mission. The answer to this question whether Michael Keating was acting as distraction to Somaliland or preaching peace in the region in his latest encounter with Somaliland administration deserves deep but careful scrutiny, given his organization’s stand on Somaliland case and his track record of rosy reports about Somalia, which once elicited this response from a Somalilander.
As he put it in his last briefing delivered to the Security Council on May 15, 2018 – the same day of that naked incursion of Somali forces – that the fighting erupted between Somaliland and Puntland and needs “an immediate ceasefire and resumption of political dialogue between the” two parties, while covering up the real culprits when attributing this to Puntland force and labeling the fundamental issue of securing territorial integrity of Somaliland as border tension.
True colors of UN envoy for Somalia came out two days after Tukaraq attack as he, Micheal Keating, is strongly implicated in and categorically becomes one of the masterminds of the planned Tukaraq mission along with the Puntland and Somali Federal Government presidents according to a leaked classified Memo of Puntland president Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gas, written on May 16, 2018.
To: Mohamed Abdillahi Farmaajo The President of Somali Federal Government Mr. President, I want to give you a brief report on Tukaraq Mission of Tuesday May 15, 2018; also I want to keep you informed about a number of issues that our military has encountered and that the information our plan was based turned out to be incorrect
It did not happen that the enemy forces in Tukaraq get relocated to the West for joining the celebrations of that day.
The forces that fought in the Tukaraq Mission belonged to both RRU (Rapid Response Unit) and SPU (Special Protection Unit) who had a foreign training.
Therefore Mr. President, for the above-mentioned reasons and also for the fact that enemy is bringing in a strong forces from the West, we need an urgent support to show the people in Puntland that the federal government is absolutely behind them. The military leadership informed me the existence of the following needs:
Need reinforcement of 15,000 to 20,000 infantry
Need tanks and armored military vehicles
Need US$30 million for the care of the military forces and for mobilizing the area residents
Need to consult with the UN envoy to Somalia on how to investigate the supply source of the enemy's weapons Thanks to Allah
Mediation undertaken by third parties are the norm and serve well in resolving today’s geopolitical disputes provided the mediators are impartial and neutral. However in this case, representative Keating being UN official solely designated for reviving the defunct Somali Democratic Republic and does not subscribe to the notion of Somaliland statehood casts shadow over his efforts and trust in this matter.
One interesting phenomenon that can be easily observed in all his reports mentioning the world Somaliland in one way or the other is the quotation marks (“Somaliland”) associated always with it when other words like Puntland and Somalia lack that
Somaliland government should reconsider engaging with Michael Keating as doing so would better serve the interest of the nation.
According to a briefing given today by the Commander of Somaliland National Armed Forces, General Ismail Nuh Tani via the Somaliland National TV, the fighting took place near the village of Tukaraq, between the city of Las Anod in Somaliland and the city of Garowe in Puntland.
“They attacked our positions from two directions this Tuesday morning but we defeated them,” said General Nuh Ismail Tani, commander of Somaliland’s armed forces.
Among other things, the general confirmed in the briefing a military tank captured by the Somaliland forces that could most likely be one of the AMISOM military machineries meant for the stabilization, reconciliation and peace building efforts in Somalia, intentionally and wrongfully diverted to wage war. It is a piece of evidence that can easily implicate and incriminate the diluted missions of UNSOM and AMISOM if properly investigated.
Vigilance, structure, command and control of Somaliland National Forces has been nurtured for the past 27 years and they would always defend what we have fought so hard to regain.