Armed rebels briefly seize towns in Somaliland amid delayed elections

Fresh clashes have erupted in Somalia’s break away region of Somaliland as armed rebels opposed to delay of presidential elections briefly take control of Odweyne and Dabagorilaye towns.

The rebels confiscated humanitarian supplies including vehicles belonging to Halo trust organization. These rebels have bases at Gacan Libax mountains in the outskirts of Hargeisa , the administrative centre for the region .

Somaliland’s presidential elections were scheduled to happen last year November 13 but their were delays due due to time, technical and financial constraints,” according Somaliland National Electoral Commission.

In August last year,deadly protests broke out in the region with demonstrators demanding elections be held in November amid suspicions President Muse Bihi Abdi wanted to delay the poll and extend his term.

Following more than 25 years of stability, Somaliland – a breakaway region of northern Somalia which seeks international recognition – has been jolted by armed conflict.

Somaliland opposition team believes regional leader Muse Bihi Abdi is directly responsible for the war in Las Anod which has left over 200 people dead, as a “ploy” to delay elections which were set to be held in November 2022 but have been paralyzed without tangible reasons in their view

Clans are important instruments in local politics in the Somali world. They help political players seeking power to win it or hold onto it.

Since the last election at the end of 2017, Somaliland’s “peripheral clans” (known as Darafyada) have regularly pointed to a lack of proper power-sharing by the political elites of the Hargeisa-based dominant Sacad Muuse sub-clan. President Bihi comes from this clan. Ministerial positions and senior directorates reveal a dominance of the Sacad Muuse.

Somaliland, a self proclaimed republic – broke away from Somalia in 1991 after Siad Barre government collapsed.

Despite printing it’s own currency , establishing it’s own government and military the region remains unrecognized by the International community.

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