Global powers condemn escalating clashes in Somaliland

Las Anod (Caasimada Online) – Over 20 countries and several international organizations, including the UN, US, and Türkiye, “strongly condemned” the recent escalation in fighting between the breakaway region of Somaliland and local clans in northern Somalia.

“We are deeply concerned about reports of large numbers of detainees and expect those involved to abide by human rights and international humanitarian law,” the coalition’s statement read.

The hostilities center around Las Anod, the capital of the northern region of Sool, an area embroiled in a territorial dispute between Somaliland and the neighboring autonomous region of Puntland.

Somaliland has been functioning as an independent entity—printing its currency, electing its government, and issuing its passports—since breaking away from Somalia in 1991.

Despite its relative stability compared to civil war-torn Somalia, its quest for statehood has left it internationally unrecognized, economically struggling, and geopolitically isolated.

The conflict intensified in Las Anod after local political and civil society leaders declared they would no longer recognize the Somaliland government, labeling them “terrorists” responsible for the ongoing strife.

“This incident marks the peak in a series of confrontations between Somaliland troops and the SSC militia,” noted President Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland, speaking from his capital in Hargeisa.

Human cost and uncertainty

The immediate human toll is staggering. Hundreds have died, thousands have been wounded, and countless families have been displaced.

“Doctors Without Borders had to cease operations at Las Anod’s general hospital in July, citing recurrent attacks on medical facilities and extreme violence,” confirmed the UN humanitarian affairs office, which also estimated over 185,000 people had fled the violence by mid-February.

The local population remains anxious despite President Abdi’s assurances of control and retribution against the SSC militia.

“People should not be discouraged due to the fighting even though there are losses inflicted on the army,” the president said, urging residents not to fear further escalation.

But the ground reality tells a different story. Residents of Las Anod live under a cloud of uncertainty, wondering what tomorrow holds.

In the wake of the violence, international partners have emphasized the need for immediate and unconditional ceasefires while pushing for unhindered humanitarian access.

“Grievances and tensions should be resolved peacefully and through dialogue,” their joint statement concluded, reiterating the urgency to end mobilization and the provision of arms and supplies to the warring factions.

The situation remains a focal point for international attention as it teeters on the brink of causing further destabilization in an already volatile Horn of Africa. The role of dialogue and diplomatic intervention has never been more critical.