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Somaliland ministry denounces Puntland attacks; urges global condemnation

Sunday June 25, 2023


Las Anod. Photo by Jethro Norman

Hargeisa (HOL) - The Ministry of Defence of Somaliland issued a press release on Saturday fervently condemning recent attacks on its National Army in the Sool region. Somaliland implicated the allied Puntland Administration of Somalia, terrorists, and anti-peace groups as the culprits behind the assault.

The Ministry states, "This unjustified aggression not only jeopardizes Somaliland's security and territorial integrity but also undermines regional efforts to establish long-term peace and stability."

The Ministry's statement accused the Puntland Administration of leveraging the unrest in Las Anod to divert attention away from its internal political issues, further charging them with weaponizing terrorists and anti-peace groups to destabilize Somaliland. In response to the attacks, the Ministry expressed its unwavering commitment to protecting its people and territory, stating, "Our citizens' safety and security remain our top priority. Therefore, we will take all necessary precautions to ensure their safety."

This escalation intensifies the already tense situation in the region, marked by a conflict over the past six months that has led to the death of 299 people, injured more than 1,913, and displaced over 150,000 individuals. The traditional elders from the SSC-Khatumo region have levied accusations against Somaliland of carrying out indiscriminate bombings that have resulted in civilian casualties and significant devastation. This plea for intervention resonates with the SSC-Khatumo Council's call for justice and assistance from the Somali government and the international community.

The tension in the region heightened significantly after the Dhulbahante clan declared its autonomy from the Somaliland government earlier this year, triggering a repositioning of Somaliland forces about 50km westward. Amid escalating violence, the Security Council has urged an immediate withdrawal of Somaliland's security forces, alongside a call for restraint from all parties involved and a move towards rebuilding trust and paving the way for peace.