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WATCH: Somali government breaks silence on Las Anod violence

Tuesday February 7, 2023


Las Anod (HOL) - The Somali government has called on Somaliland to respect the desire of the Sool, Sanaag and Ayn communities and urged SSC-Khatuma and Somaliland officials to end the fighting in Las Anod town immediately.

Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the President of Somalia, stated in a video released on Villa Somalia's Facebook page that the federal government is ready to participate in and facilitate a peace conference to resolve the tense situation in Las Anod town.
President Mohamud caled on all stakeholders to immediately put their weapons down and reach a settlement through dialogue. 

"The conflict in Las Anod is a political issue, and a gun cannot resolve a political problem for both sides. I call the parties to the table for a discussion," President Mohamud said.

"The issue of the Sool and Sanaag region is within the "unity" fence, which we do not want to seek by force. We have to respect the people's desire," the President said.

Somalia's Minister for Interior Affairs, Federal and Reconciliation, Ahmed Moallim Fiq, stated at a press conference in Mogadishu that the government welcomes the decisions and desires of the residents of SSC.

"The government is sorry for the fight that resulted in the loss of life in Las Anod and called both sides to stop the fight in Las Anod immediately." 

The government has called on the NGOs to provide emergency aid to people displaced by the conflict.
Puntland reiterated its condemnation of Somaliland's military on Tuesday. In a press release from the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Puntland said Somaliland was guilty of indiscriminate attacks on civilians and blasted Somaliland authorities for labelling traditional elders and locals as terrorists. 

The statement said that Puntland was not an active combatant in the ongoing hostilities in Las Anod. It said the clash was between the Somaliland military and locals fighting for self-determination. 

Puntland said it welcomes the decision reached by SSC leaders on Sunday to cut ties with the Somaliland government.

At least 34 people were killed in clashes between soldiers and anti-government fighters in a disputed town in Somalia's northern breakaway region of Somaliland on Monday.

The Somaliland government said on Twitter that armed men attacked army bases and state offices in Las Anod early in the morning. It accused unnamed "traditional leaders" of recruiting the attackers and said its forces thwarted the assault.

The clashes in Las Anod, the administrative centre of Sool region, came a day after a committee of local leaders, religious scholars and civil society groups declared they were not part of the Somaliland administration.

Somaliland broke away from Somalia in 1991 but has yet to gain widespread international recognition for its independence.


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