The administrations of Somaliland and SCC-Khatumo engaged in a fierce blame game on Wednesday, each accusing the other of initiating the heavy fighting that erupted in the contested Las Anod town on Tuesday.
The clashes, which resulted in undisclosed casualties, have further fueled the longstanding territorial dispute.
Dr. Mohamed Abdi Ismail, the Deputy Leader of SCC-Khatumo, pointed fingers at the Somaliland army, alleging that they were responsible for instigating the conflict. However, he proudly stated that his forces valiantly resisted and inflicted casualties upon the Somaliland military. Dr. Ismail emphasized his administration’s unwavering commitment to expelling Somaliland troops from the regions of Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn, collectively known as SSC-Khatumo.
Addressing his troops, he passionately urged them to escalate their efforts, declaring, “You must be prepared to invest your lives and resources, as this is the righteous war upon which your future and honor hinge.”
Responding to the accusations, the Somaliland Ministry of Defence swiftly refuted the claims made by SCC-Khatumo. According to the ministry, it was the joint forces of the Puntland regional administration and SCC-Khatumo that launched an attack on Somaliland troops. The ministry asserted that the Somaliland army successfully repelled the assault and accused Puntland of harboring ulterior motives aimed at destabilizing Las Anod for its own gains.
The clash on Tuesday unfolded in the Maraga and Hargaga areas situated in the eastern part of Las Anod, intensifying the already volatile situation.
Since February 6, the region has experienced relentless fighting between Somaliland forces and local militia from the Dhulbahante clan in northern Somalia. Tragically, the conflict has claimed hundreds of lives and displaced thousands of residents from the embattled town.
As the world watches, the fate of Las Anod hangs in the balance, with hopes pinned on diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the protracted conflict and pave the way for stability and peace in the region.