US demands end to conflict in Laascaanood, Somalia

Washington (Caasimada Online) –  The United States has issued a call to action in response to the escalating conflict in Laascaanood, Somalia, which has now entered its fourth day and resulted in fatalities and extensive damage.  

In an official statement from the Bureau of African Affairs of the US Department of State, the government declared that “the indiscriminate targeting of civilians is unacceptable and must be brought to an end.” 

The US Government has called for an immediate cessation of violence in Laascaanood, protection of civilians, and unrestricted access for humanitarian aid. The statement also emphasized the need for a peaceful resolution through dialogue. 

This sentiment was echoed by Somalia’s international partners, who expressed “grave concern” over the violence in Laascaanood, including the loss of civilian life, including children. They, too, called for an end to the violence, the protection of civilians, and a peaceful resolution through dialogue. 

The conflict, which began on Monday, is between forces from Somaliland and local fighters who oppose their presence in the city and have called for their withdrawal.  

In the three days since the conflict began, approximately 40 people have lost their lives, and over 150 have been injured. The latest casualties are yet to be reported.

The conflict was sparked by a decision made by local leaders, who had been meeting in the city for several days, stating that the region would not be part of Somaliland but instead be under the control of the federal government of Somalia. 

The traditional leaders also declared the SSC-Khaatumo regions to be part of the federal government of Somalia and committed to Somali unity.

Somaliland authorities have claimed that groups organized by local leaders attacked their forces. In contrast, one of the local leaders denied the claim and accused Somaliland forces of launching an attack.  

Somaliland declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not yet been recognized as a separate state. Despite controlling the regions of Sool, Sanag, and Cayn for over 15 years, Somaliland has faced opposition and resentment.

 The current crisis was triggered by the assassination of a local youth leader and opposition Waddani Party member, which was blamed on Somaliland. The Somaliland security forces have used force to try to quell the situation, leading to further violence and casualties.