Brigadier General Nuh Ismail Tani, the military commander of Somaliland, opined that his forces are capable of retaking control of the disputed town of Las Anod, but they are abiding by the government’s ceasefire policy.
Fighting between Somaliland militias and authorities in Las Anod, Sool Region, will likely continue through late March. In late February, Somaliland accused neighboring Puntland of waging war against government forces by providing military support to local militias.
Somaliland President Muse Bihi also announced to dispatch of clan elders to end the violence in late February. However, leaders of Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn regions rejected the call demanding government forces to pull out their troops as a precondition for dialogue. As of March 1, at least 112 people were reported killed, and hundreds were injured.
Security personnel will almost certainly remain deployed in the area over the coming days. Further confrontations between local militias and the security forces are likely. Officials could impose restrictive movement measures, including curfews and road closures. Additional clashes and resulting casualties could spark unrest
Tani, speaking to local television in Hargeisa on Wednesday, emphasized that the Somaliland army always follows the government’s lead and has the authority to enter the city and remove those gathered in the town from Puntland.
The unending strife began on December 28, 2022, has already displaced over 185,000 people, damaged hospitals, and hampered wounded people’s access to medical care.
According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia, Human Rights and Protection Group, and Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the fighting has killed at least 80 people and injured 451 others, including medical personnel.