Somaliland president vows retribution after army ambush

Hargeisa (Caasimada Online) – Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has vowed to ensure justice in the wake of a devastating ambush near the Ga’an Libah Mountains, which claimed the lives of nine police officers and left 17 others injured. 

During the somber funeral rites of the fallen officers in Hargeisa, the president expressed his commitment to pursuing every individual connected to this grievous act, stating, “From organizers to accomplices, all will face the full force of the law.”

However, this commitment came when President Bihi had previously underplayed the rebel forces’ threat. 

Offering a counter-narrative, a Ga’an Libah Mountains-based anti-government militia spokesperson framed their actions as a direct response to President Bihi’s perceived forceful measures against the opposition.

A complex political landscape

Somaliland, a territory in the Horn of Africa, declared its separation from Somalia in 1991. 

While it strives for a stable, democratic governance system from its administrative base in Hargeisa, global acknowledgment of its sovereignty has been hard to come by.

The present unrest finds its roots in the postponed presidential elections, initially scheduled for November 2022. 

Adding fuel to the flames, the House of Elders’ subsequent decision to provide President Muse Bihi with a two-year term extension has deepened existing political fissures. 

Yet, a beacon of hope emerges with the recent announcement pegging the elections for November 13, 2024.

Embracing dialogue over discord

In these testing times, voices advocating peace and dialogue are paramount. President Bihi has been at the forefront, emphasizing the importance of unity and achieving objectives through “consultation, dialogue, and integration.” 

Reflecting on the recent unrest, he underscored the need to explore the relationship between the escalating hostilities and political developments, noting the origins of the conflict in Las Anod.

Joining the chorus for reconciliation, Abdirahman Irro, the presidential candidate from the Wadani Party, has championed a two-pronged approach: advising the rebels to disarm and recommending a governmental military withdrawal from the primary rebel zones.