Somaliland President suspends military commander

Hargeisa (Caasimada Online) – According to reliable sources, Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has suspended military commander Nuh Tani after recent setbacks in the ongoing conflict in the Sool region.

The suspension followed significant defeats, including the loss of Tukaraq and Gambadhe Commands and the evacuation of Somaliland’s defenses in LasAnod, the capital of the Sool region, after almost a month of fighting with local forces.

The conflict in LasAnod, which began on February 6, has resulted in many casualties, with over 120 people, mostly civilians, reportedly killed and more than 600 others injured.

Responsibility for failures

President Muse Bihi has temporarily handed over the General Command of the Somaliland Forces to Major General Faisal Abdi Butaan, who is currently leading the ongoing conflict in the region.

Butaan reportedly convinced President Bihi that Tani was responsible for the failures in the conflict, leading to his suspension.

Somaliland believed it would easily defeat local forces and capture LasAnod. However, a month later, the conflict continues, and local forces remain in control of the city.

Somaliland reputation damaged 

The conflict has damaged Somaliland’s reputation, with the military being accused of targeting civilian areas.

On Tuesday, at least one person was killed, and several others were injured in a mortar attack on the main hospital in LasAnod, during an upsurge of violence.

Dr. Ahmed Abdi, a doctor at the hospital, confirmed that four shells hit the hospital, causing critical injuries to some of the eight wounded people.

The attack destroyed two of the hospital’s three ambulances, exacerbating a dire situation.

Background on the conflict in Somaliland

LasAnod has been the site of ongoing violence between the security forces of Somaliland and clan militia that wish to be part of Somalia.

Somaliland, which broke away from Somalia three decades ago, seeks international recognition as an independent country.

However, its claims to Las-Anod are disputed by the neighboring Somali state of Puntland. The conflict has displaced over 185,000 people, with tens of thousands fleeing to Ethiopia.

Calls for peaceful resolution

The international community has condemned the killing of civilians and issued statements calling for a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

On Tuesday, representatives from Qatar, Somalia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America convened in Washington, D.C.

They issued a statement calling on all parties to adhere to the ceasefire, de-escalate, allow unhindered humanitarian access, and engage in constructive and peaceful dialogue to the ongoing conflict in and around LasAnod.