Soldiers from the Somali National Army and members of the Jubbaland state Dervish forces today briefly clashed in Bulo Hawo, Gedo Region, following days of tensions.
According to independent sources, the clash started after the Dervish forces camped outside the town attempted to enter a part of Bula Hawo controlled by the army, leading to exchange of gunfire. One Dervish soldiers was killed while two army personnel were wounded.
However, a statement from the Jubbaland state presidency claimed that the clash occurred after government soldiers attempted to disarm three Dervish members in the town, who were then forced to defend themselves.
The statement also contradicts the initial casualty figures that were reported, saying one Dervish member was killed and another was injured, while three government soldiers lost their lives and two others suffered injuries.
The Jubbaland statement said the clash was unfortunate, and that soldiers who have fought together against Al-Shabaab for years have been forced to turn their guns on each other. It blamed the federal government for the incident.
The clash ended after the Dervish members returned to their camp outside the town.
The incident came after the Jubbaland vice president and security minister Abdirashid Janan, who is being sought by the federal government after escaping prison in Mogadishu a few days ago, visited the Jubbaland forces and urged them to defend themselves if attacked.