UN Security Council Demands Immediate Withdrawal of Somaliland Forces in Laas’anod Town

The United Nations Security Council has called for an immediate withdrawal of Somaliland forces from the contested town of Laas’anod and demanded a ceasefire amid escalating tensions in the region.

The demand comes in response to continued fighting in the town that has resulted in the loss of hundreds of lives and the displacement of nearly 200,000 people.

In a statement issued on Tuesday, the 15-member council called on all parties to exercise restraint and to avoid provocative actions, incitement to violence, and inflammatory rhetoric in order to de-escalate the situation on the ground, rebuild trust, and create the conditions for peace.

“The members of the Security Council called for the immediate withdrawal of ‘Somaliland’ security forces and called on all parties to reach a ceasefire agreement urgently and encouraged inclusive dialogue and peaceful dispute resolution,” the statement read.

The renewed push for peace follows the killing of a prominent politician in Laas’anod on December 22, 2022, which sparked violence and unrest in the town.

The UN’s call for a ceasefire and withdrawal of Somaliland forces has been welcomed by the Supreme Council of the SSC-Khaatumo State, known as the Garaads, who have long campaigned for the Somaliland militia’s retreat from SSC territories.

The Garaads have urged the international community to take assertive actions to ensure that Somaliland withdraws its militias immediately, stating that this is crucial to achieving a durable resolution to the ongoing conflict in northern Somalia.

Meanwhile, the situation in Laas’anod remains tense, with reports of ongoing clashes and violence in the area.

The UN’s call for an immediate withdrawal of Somaliland forces and for all parties to reach a ceasefire agreement and engage in inclusive dialogue and peaceful dispute resolution is a critical step towards addressing the underlying causes of the conflict and establishing lasting peace in the region.

It is hoped that the international community’s efforts will result in an end to the violence and a path towards sustainable peace and stability in northern Somalia.

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