Somalia: SSC forces seize key army base

Hargeisa (Caasimada Online) – SSC-Khatumo forces have successfully seized control of an army base on the outskirts of LasAnod town in northern Somalia after heavy fighting on Saturday.  

According to reports, the Guul Wade military camp, previously under the control of Somaliland military officer Mahad Cambashe and his loyal troops, is now under the control of the SSC administration., marking a significant development in the ongoing conflict. 

The SSC-Khatumo forces also successfully confiscated several military vehicles, including tanks, armored vehicles, and other weapons.

Cambaashe was among the top officers in the Somaliland army, hailing from the Sool region. The number of casualties from the fighting remains unknown. 

Map showing LasAnod (Laascaanood) Somalia

Traditional leaders in Sool have been attempting to persuade forces from the region to defect to the armed forces of SSC, who are at war with the separatist administration of Somaliland. However, these efforts have proven unsuccessful.

The Somaliland Ministry of Internal Affairs has released a statement on Facebook, claiming that “anti-peace and terrorist groups” attacked Somaliland military forces and violated the ceasefire in response to the conflict. 

The humanitarian crisis worsens in Somalia

According to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the recent clashes between security forces and clan leaders in northern Somalia’s LasAnod have resulted in the deaths of at least 150 people and left over 600 others injured since February 6.  

The government of Puntland estimates the death toll to be as high as 200.

Eyewitnesses and clan leaders have reported heavy fighting in LasAnod, with the town being bombarded by artillery and mortar shells. 

Hospitals have also been targeted, with the main hospital in LasAnod sustaining severe damage.

The UN reports that more than 185,000 individuals have been displaced due to the violence, with women and children comprising an estimated 89% of the displaced population.  

Many have been forced to seek shelter under trees or inside schools that have been forced to shut. The UN’s refugee agency has also revealed that over 60,000 individuals have fled to Ethiopia’s Somali region to escape the violence.

US demands an immediate ceasefire 

Following a delegation led by Chargé d’Affaires Tim Trenkle’s arrival in the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa, the United States has called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the northern town of LasAnod, Somalia.

During a series of political and civil society discussions, the delegation met with Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi to discuss the violence in LasAnod.  

The United States embassy in Somalia said, “The United States joins the international community in calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access.” 

Moreover, the Bureau of African Affairs of the US State Department has also condemned the ongoing indiscriminate attacks that have claimed the lives of numerous civilians in LasAnod and displaced more than 185,000 individuals. 

The Department tweeted, “The United States condemns the continued indiscriminate attacks that have killed scores of civilians in LasAnod and driven more than 185,000 people from their homes. The violence must end, and those responsible must be held accountable.”

Somaliland: A brief history

Somaliland, with a population of 4.5 million, is a former British protectorate that prints its own currency issues its own passports and elects its own government.  

However, the lack of international recognition has left it impoverished and isolated. Despite this, it has been comparatively more stable than Somalia, which has been marred by civil war and Islamist insurgency for several decades