Hargeisa (Caasimada Online) – Somaliland, a self-proclaimed republic in northern Somalia, has pushed back the African Union (AU) over its comments on the security situation in LasAnod, a city that has experienced deadly clashes between anti-government protesters and security forces.
The protests began a week ago and were ignited by the assassination of a youth leader and opposition Waddani party member, Abdifatah Abdullahi Abdi (Hadrawi).
At least 20 people have been killed in subsequent clashes between anti-government protesters and the security forces.
In a statement, Souef Mohamed El-Amine said, “The security situation in LasAnod town of Sool region continues to be volatile. ATMIS encourages the stakeholders to address their differences through dialogue and negotiations for the benefit of the locality.”
In response to the AU’s call for stakeholders to address their differences through dialogue, the Somaliland Foreign Ministry said, “The Government of Somaliland will not tolerate seditious statements by ATMIS that go beyond their mandate as the Republic of Somaliland is an independent country.”
The ministry also called upon the international community to “condemn the provocations by some neighboring administrations and to stand by the Government of Somaliland as it ensures the security and wellbeing of its citizens.”
“Finally, we call upon the international community to condemn the provocations by some neighboring administrations and to stand by the Government of Somaliland as it ensures the security and wellbeing of its citizens,” it reads.
LasAnod, a city located in the disputed region of Sool between Somaliland and Puntland (a semi-autonomous region of Somalia), has been a source of contention between the two sides.
Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not gained recognition as a sovereign state by the international community.