Somali defence ministry has refuted the existence of fighting Somali National Army (SNA) soldiers and forces loyal to Interim Jubba Administration.
“Section 43 of Somali National Army based on the outskirt of Kismayo is the first national cohesion force formed which consist of different forces merged and this was jointly done by Somali government and Jubbaland administration” reads statement issued by the ministry.
It further says that Jubbaland forces works hand in hand with SNA soldiers and they are jointly ready to defend their country and to restoration of peace in the country.
“Wherever they are, SNA soldiers have no involvement in violence and anything beyond the their obligation therefore it is ill-founded what the media was reports the past days”
This comes days after SNA comments on gun battle between government troops and Jubaland forces that left more than five people, including, soldiers dead and wounded several others outside Kismayo.
Abdirashid Moalim Gaas who is among the commanders leading Somali National Army told Goobjoog News that Jubbaland forces attacked the military base of SNA in the outskirt of Kismayo town.
“Our soldiers are based on the outskirt of Kismayo but the problem is that Jubbaland forces always stage attacks on our garrison” he said.
Last Friday fighting has erupted when number of Jubaland soldiers launched heavy attack on positions manned by government troops in Gobweyn area.
Meanwhile, Jubaland officials denied its troops had launched an attack on bases controlling by gov’t troops but said its armed soldiers had clashed with Al Shabab militants.
“Our troops raided bases which were suspected to be hideouts of Al Qaeda linked Al Shabaab but we did not attack on Somalia army’s bases in the area” unnamed Jubaland officer said.
Kismayo, a town situated 328 miles (528 km) southwest of Somalia’s capital of Mogadishu.