On Friday evening, the relatively calm and often restive city of Eerigabo experienced a brief outburst of violence.
Gunshots echoed through the city into Saturday morning, leaving residents concerned and shaken. Reports indicate that there may have been casualties and injuries.
The circumstances surrounding the outbreak of violence are still unclear. Still, it is believed that a group may have opened fire on a police vehicle in the bustling market district, a group of youths hoisted a flag not representing the breakaway region of Somaliland.
The latter incident allegedly triggered a reaction from other youths preparing for May 18th festivities, leading to the clashes between the police and the dissenting youths.
There are unconfirmed reports of casualties and injuries from the violence, and no independent sources have corroborated the claims. However, witnesses at the scene report significant commotion in the city, with businesses closing early for fear of the escalating violence.
The Somaliland Police have yet to release a statement concerning the origin of the disruptions.
Eerigabo is often the site of sporadic outbursts of political unrest, and the recent events have brought to the fore the fragile peace in the region.
As the breakaway region approaches the May 18th celebrations, which marks the landmark independence of Somaliland, there are growing concerns that violent incidents similar to this may recur.