Friday February 3, 2023
Secretary General of the IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu
Mogadishu (HOL) - The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) welcomed the president of Djibouti, Ismail Omar Guelleh, for his efforts to mediate the crisis in Las Anod, the disputed town between Somaliland and Puntland.
The Secretary General of the IGAD, Workneh Gebeyehu, said that the recent tensions in Las Anod at the end of 2022 became a matter of concern after the significant number of civilian deaths and casualties.
"In this regard, the Somaliland issue continues to require our full attention towards a peaceful resolution. At this point, IGAD appreciates the mediation efforts made so far by H.E. President Ismail Omar Gulleh, President of the Republic of Djibouti and further encourages his continued engagement," he said.
The traditional elders of Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn, whose meeting is still ongoing in Las Anod, have stated that they will not accept mediation from Djibouti's president.
In an interview with BBC Somali, Jif Aaqil Abdirisaaq Hassan Falalug, the spokesperson for the 33-member elder's committee that coordinates the meeting, stated that there is no mediation they will accept right now.
"No, we are not ready for mediation. We are not prepared for mediation. As for the people of the regions, we are still in hospitals as a result of the damage caused by Somaliland, and our people's situation is dire. Approximately 80% to 90% of the city has been evacuated, "Falalug stated.Jif Aaqil Abdirisaaq Hassan Falalug
He added that they are afraid every day that the Somaliland army will enter the town, so they are not in an environment where they can talk with Somaliland, "It is not possible. I don't know where it works a person who is standing on your neck and said talk to me. There is no place where it happens".
The spokesperson emphasized that they will not accept mediation from IGAD, Djibouti, the Somali government, or other governments until the Somaliland army leaves. "Ismail Omar Geelle and IGAD should remove the army that killed our people."
The Somaliland Minister of Internal Affairs accused the intelligentsia of inciting the people and urged them to return to the city and resume their everyday lives.