International Community Condemns Escalation in Somaliland clashes

In a united front, more than 20 countries and several international organizations have issued a strong condemnation of the recent escalation in fighting between Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland and local clans.

The international partners, including the United Nations, United States, and Türkiye, expressed deep concern over the reports of large numbers of detainees and emphasized the urgent need for all parties involved to uphold human rights and international humanitarian law.

The escalation occurred in the city of Laascaanood, where armed Somaliland forces clashed with clan militias known as SSC-Khatumo. The situation has raised concerns about the potential spillover of violence into the outskirts of the urban area, further exacerbating an already volatile situation.

In a joint statement, the signatories called for an immediate and unconditional cease-fire, urging all sides to halt mobilization and the provision of supplies and arms. The African Union Transition Mission in Somalia, Belgium, Canada, Djibouti, the European Union Delegation, Ethiopia, Finland, France, Germany, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Saudi Arabia, the Arab League, the Netherlands, Norway, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, Qatar, Russia, Sudan, Sweden, Switzerland, Uganda, and the United Kingdom all lent their support to the statement.

The international partners also emphasized the importance of ensuring unhindered humanitarian access and the delivery of assistance to those in need.

Furthermore, they called on all parties involved to refrain from making divisive statements, emphasizing that grievances and tensions should be resolved peacefully through dialogue.

The city of Las Anod, the administrative capital of Somaliland’s eastern Sool region, has been at the epicenter of the violent clashes. The fighting has resulted in hundreds of casualties, thousands of injuries, and the displacement of numerous families from their homes. Local leaders, civil society groups, and religious leaders in the region recently declared their withdrawal of recognition of the Somaliland government, which triggered the outbreak of hostilities.

The Somaliland administration, in response, has labeled the local forces as “terrorists” and held them responsible for the violence. The Sool and Sanaag regions have been long-disputed territories, with both Somaliland and Puntland State claiming ownership. However, the current local uprising has further complicated the situation on the ground.

As the situation unfolds, the eyes of the world remain fixed on Somalia, with hopes for a swift end to the violence and a return to dialogue and reconciliation.

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