Sool Somalia:- Death toll climbs as fighting escalates in LasAnod

Bulsha:- The Speaker of Somaliland’s parliament, Abdirisaaq Khalif Ahmed, has accused the President of Somaliland, Muse Bihi, of obstructing efforts to bring peace to the troubled city of LasAnod in northern Somalia.   

The conflict that began in LasAnod, the administrative capital of the Sool region, has escalated, with a group of local leaders, civil society groups, and religious leaders announcing that they no longer recognize the Somaliland government.

In a statement, they declared that Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia, would now rule the territory.

The Sool region has been a disputed territory between Somaliland and Puntland since the collapse of the Somali government in 1991. While Somaliland regards Sool as part of its territory, Puntland considers it part of its federal state. 

Reasons for conflict in LasAnod
The conflict started on February 6 after the local leaders, civil society groups, and religious leaders announced they no longer recognize the Somaliland government.  

In response, the Somaliland administration labeled them “terrorists” and blamed them for the violence.

For weeks, Somaliland troops have been fighting against local clan fighters who seek to become a federal state, announcing their separation from Hargeisa. 

However, the government of Muse Bihi rejected the move, stating that the region remains a territory of Somaliland. 

The conflict escalates.
Reports indicate that the SSC-Khatumo forces have captured new army positions after the Somaliland administration forces withdrew from army positions.

In the Tukaraq area of the Sool region, yet another clash has occurred between the Somaliland army and local clan militia forces, as the conflict in the region shows no signs of abating. 

The Speaker of Somaliland’s parliament, Abdirisaaq Khalif Ahmed, accused the Somaliland government of escalating the conflict in LasAnod, describing their actions as offensive.  

Khalif accused Somaliland’s army of committing war crimes in the region, with the town being bombed on the orders of Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi.  

Following intense fighting, the Somaliland military reportedly withdrew from Tukaraq amid calls for a cessation of hostilities from the international community, which has projected catastrophe in the region.

Death toll climbs in LasAnod
Over the past three weeks, the conflict in LasAnod has resulted in the deaths of nearly 105 people, with the vast majority of victims being innocent civilians, including women and children. 

The fighting has also left over 600 others critically wounded, who are currently undergoing treatment in hospitals, struggling to cope with the high number of casualties.

Somaliland’s Speaker of Representatives House, Abdirisak Khalif, has denied battling against Puntland, Central Government soldiers, and terrorists. Instead, he has argued that the Sool region has the right to defend itself, and he is merely representing the interests of the local population. 

He stated, “The Sool region has the right to defend itself, and I represent them.”  

International response 
The United States embassy in Somalia has released a statement calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access. 

The US State Department’s Bureau of African Affairs has condemned the continued indiscriminate attacks that killed scores of civilians in LasAnod and drove more than 185,000 people from their homes.

“The United States condemns the continued indiscriminate attacks that have killed scores of civilians in LasAnod and driven more than 185,000 people from their homes. The violence must end, and those responsible must be held accountable,” the US State Department tweeted.

The fighting in LasAnod has uprooted more than 185,000 people from their homes, with aid workers struggling to respond to the situation due to inadequate resources. Of those displaced, an estimated 89 percents are women and children,

More than 60,000 others have fled to Ethiopia’s Somali region to escape the violence, according to the UN’s refugee agency. 

This month, UN rights chief Volker Turk called on authorities to conduct a “credible and impartial investigation” into the clashes. He warned that they compounded the already fragile humanitarian situation in the region.

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About Bulsha Arrimaha Bulshada

Wabsite kaan waxaa uu idiin soo gudbin dhacdooyinka maalinlaha ah ee la xariira arrimaha bulshada siyaasada cayaaraha, fanka iyo suugaanta iyo in badan oo qarsoon marka ha moogaan inaad soo booqada oo aad ka daalacado waxyaabaha muhiimka ah ee aan idinku diyaariney. Waadna Mahadsan Tihiin. Somaliya hanoolaato
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