Tension in Somali border town of Bula Hawo as rival forces face off

Tension is reportedly high in the Somali border town of Bula Hawo following reports that fugitive Jubbaland security minister, Abdirashid Janan, was amassing troops outside the town while government troops in the town were put in high alert as fears of fighting between the two sides grew.

Reports indicate that residents on Saturday night fled some areas of the town after a brief clash between federal government forces and others loyal to the Jubbaland regional state.

Jubbaland state’s vice-president Mohamud Sayid Adan accused the federal government of attacking Bula Hawo, saying that the central government’s aim was to topple the Jubbaland administration.

Local clan elders are reportedly mediating between the two sides to avoid military confrontation in the region.

Soldiers sent from Mogadishu have in the past few days taken over control of some towns in Gedo region, including Dolo, Bula Hawo, Luq and Bardhere.

Somalia has accused the Kenyan government of interfering in its internal affairs after Jubbaland security minister Abdirashid Janan escaped from prison in Mogadishu and fled to Kenya from where he re-entered Bula Hawo to mobilise his troops in a bid to take control of Gedo region from government forces.