Tensions mount in Somaliland after deadly military ambush

Hargeisa (Caasimada Online) – In the escalation of violence in Somaliland, nine soldiers lost their lives, and another 17 were injured following an ambush by an armed group in the rugged terrains of Ga’an Libah. 

The incident, as reported by Police Commander Gen. Mohamed Aden Saqadhi Dabagale, unfolded on Friday, sending shockwaves across Somaliland.

Somaliland, situated in the Horn of Africa, proclaimed its independence from Somalia in 1991. However, the international community, for the most part, has not recognized its sovereignty. 

With its capital in Hargeisa, this region has endeavored to build a stable, democratic distinct from its tumultuous neighbor, Somalia.

Public response and political intrigue

The tragedy has since given rise to a series of demonstrations in the cities of Hargeisa, Burao, and Erigavo. Concerned and aggrieved citizens have taken to the streets to mourn the loss and voice out their frustrations with the ongoing political strife.

Somaliland’s Interior Minister, Mohamed Kahin, pointed fingers at the opposition, suggesting links between the armed assailants and the opposition leader, Abdirahman Irro. 

Irro countered the accusations to clear the air, emphasizing his stance for peaceful resolutions. “Violence and force aren’t the answers,” he voiced, urging President Muse Bihi’s administration to recall troops and initiate dialogues.

The underlying electoral strife

The recent tensions relate to the delayed presidential elections initially slated for November 2022. 

This postponement, paired with the House of Elders’ controversial decision to grant President Muse Bihi a two-year term extension, has fueled existing political divides.

However, there’s a glimmer of hope, as an official announcement revealed that the elections are now set for November 13, 2024.