International Community calls for calm in LasAnod amid civilian deaths

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – International partners have expressed concern over the ongoing violence in LasAnod, Somalia, which has caused the deaths of numerous civilians and significant destruction.

According to a doctor at a regional public hospital, at least 20 people have been killed in clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces in the city over the past several days.

The demonstrations began a week ago and were sparked by the assassination of a local youth leader and member of the opposition Waddani Party, Abdifatah Abdullahi Abdi (Hadrawi).

“International partners are deeply concerned about the ongoing violence in LasAnod, Somalia, which has resulted in numerous civilian deaths and casualties,” said a statement from the international community released on Sunday.

“The protection of civilians and the prevention of violence is of the utmost importance. We call for calm and restraint and urge all parties to work towards de-escalating the situation and resolving tensions through dialogue.”

The protesters are demanding that Somaliland cede control of LasAnod to Puntland and have accused the security forces of failing to address the insecurity in the town.

Puntland’s Vice President, Ahmed Elmi Osman Karash, has accused the Somaliland army of committing a “massacre of civilians” in LasAnod.

Somaliland’s Minister of Information, Salebaan Ali Koore, has appealed to the protesters to stop their demonstrations and enter negotiations with the government.

However, tensions remain high, and the situation remains volatile. The international community urges all parties to work towards a peaceful resolution and prioritize civilians’ safety and well-being.

LasAnod is disputed between Somaliland, and neighboring Puntland, one of Somalia’s semi-autonomous regions.

Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991. However, it has yet to gain widespread international recognition for its independence and is not recognized as a sovereign state by the international community.

Despite this, Somaliland has maintained a high degree of stability and security compared to the rest of Somalia, which has been embroiled in civil war for over three decades. Somaliland has its own government, military, and currency.