Somalia: Puntland’s Deputy Visits Las Anod Amid Northern Somalia’s Determination to Respond
Somalia: Puntland Vice President Arrives in Las Anod as Northern Somalia Pledges to Fight Back
On Tuesday, Ahmed Karash, the Vice President of Puntland, made a visit to Las Anod, a town that has been the center of clashes between the SSC-Khatumo forces and the Northern Somalia army. This ongoing conflict has resulted in the deaths of hundreds, mostly innocent civilians, and has left others wounded since the beginning of this year.
Karash’s visit follows the recent expulsion of Northern Somalia troops from the Goojacade base by the SSC-Khatumo forces after a fierce battle on Friday. This victory marks a significant moment for the local community, which has rejected secession and sought to establish their own regional state.
Despite international partners calling for an immediate ceasefire, the Northern Somalia army had refused to withdraw from LasAnod. In response to the capture of Goojacade, Northern Somalia President Muse Bihi Abdi has vowed to seek revenge against the SSC-Khatumo forces, who killed his soldiers and took many as prisoners of war. The region is bracing itself for further escalation of tensions in the Sool region.
In a joint press conference with opposition leaders on Saturday, Bihi reassured the people of Northern Somalia that the government is determined to protect its territories. This gathering of prominent political figures within the breakaway state of Somalia is a notable occurrence.
Abdirahman Irro, the leader of the Waddani party, and Faisal Warabe, the leader of UCID, called for unity in the face of this standoff and pledged to safeguard the region’s borders. SSC-Khatumo advocates for Mogadishu, rather than Hargeisa (the regional administrative capital of Northern Somalia), to govern them.
The international community has already demanded an immediate and unconditional ceasefire, as well as a halt to the mobilization of fighters and the provision of supplies and weaponry. SSC-Khatumo has succumbed to the pressure and declared a ceasefire.
Puntland denies the claims made by Northern Somalia, stating that it has no involvement in the conflict occurring in LasAnod. Puntland blames the breakaway region for what they consider as “mismanagement.”