Anti-Somaliland government rebel forces have struck once again, abducting a vehicle belonging to the Somaliland Ministry of Water from the Dhoqoshay district in the Togdheer region on Saturday.
The rebels, who are based in the Ga’an Libah Mountains, have released a recorded video calling for the resignations of President Muse Bihi and the Minister of Internal Affairs. They have vowed to continue their attacks until their demands are met.
The rebel spokesperson conveyed a stern message, stating, “If Minister Kahin and Muse Bihi care about the people, they should resign to restore peace and patriotism. Otherwise, we will expand our attacks from Dhoqoshay to Oog areas, even the presidency.” This escalation in their rhetoric has raised concerns about the stability and security of the region.
The recent political discord in Somaliland centered around the sequencing of elections for political organizations and the presidential election.
President Bihi has been advocating for the election of political organizations to precede the presidential election, a stance that has been met with reluctance from the opposition.
However, two weeks ago, a committee of traditional elders successfully brokered an agreement, resolving the longstanding electoral dispute.
The committee decided that both the elections for political organizations and the Presidential post would be conducted on the same day, November 13, 2024. This decision was seen as a significant step towards political stability.
To ensure the agreement’s success, the committee of traditional elders issued a directive for the immediate dissolution of the anti-government rebels gathered in the Gacan-Libah Mountains.
The elders of the rebel group were also ordered to compensate the families of 10 soldiers who lost their lives in attacks against government forces and to surrender their weapons and vehicles to the government. In a gesture of goodwill, the Somaliland government extended a pardon to the anti-government fighters.
Unfortunately, the traditional elders’ attempts to persuade the rebels to lay down their arms have been met with resistance. Despite spending the past few days in the Gacan-Libah Mountains, their mission to achieve peace and reconciliation has not yet been successful.
It remains to be seen how the government will respond to the rebel forces’ actions and whether they will be able to mitigate the disruption caused by the ongoing political crisis.
The rebel group leaders claim that their armed resistance is a response to President Muse Bihi’s refusal to hold elections and his use of force against demonstrators demanding timely polls.