Hargeisa - The breakaway territory of Somaliland is battling its own secessionists in a dispute that has raised tensions with neighbouring Puntland, in an area of Somalia usually more peaceful than the rest of the country.
The fighting first erupted in January after the leaders of the northern regions of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn decided to band together into a new state called Khaatumo and declared they wanted to be an independent region within Somalia.
Somaliland's troops have since clashed with militia fighters loyal to Khaatumo, with reports of dozens of casualties. Puntland's President Abdirahman Mohamud Farole stepped into the row on Wednesday, accusing Somaliland of creating chaos.
“It is unfortunate that Somaliland is sowing seeds of insecurity in the peaceful towns of Puntland at a time the world is solving the entire country's violence,” he told reporters, calling for Somaliland to pull its troops back.
The newly declared Khaatumo state is near the border with Ethiopia and is a disputed area that Somaliland seized from Puntland in 2007, though relations between the two territories have improved since.