Traditional elders from the SSC-Khatumo region have accused Somaliland of attacking Las Anod indiscriminately on Saturday, causing civilian fatalities and massive destruction.
While official casualty statistics have not been revealed, the attack has contributed to the six-month-long confrontation between the two sides.
Artillery exchanges between the SSC-Khatumo group and the Somaliland government have been reported in various media outlets, resulting in over 299 deaths, over 1,913 injuries, and over 150,000 people displaced.
The SSC-Khatumo Council has requested involvement from the Somali government and the international community, requesting safety for the population of Las Anod and justice for the atrocities perpetrated.
The Council demands that military actions in the area cease immediately and that the Somaliland government withdraw its soldiers from the disputed zone.
Tensions rose after the Dhulbahante tribe proclaimed independence from the Somaliland government on February 6, forcing a 50km westward deployment of Somaliland soldiers.
The SSC believes the strikes on Las Anod were launched from these new sites.
In reaction to the rising violence, the Security Council has demanded that Somaliland’s security forces withdraw from the disputed territory immediately. It has also urged all parties concerned to exercise moderation, avoid using inflammatory rhetoric, and desist from actions that might spark additional confrontation. These efforts, according to the Council, are crucial to de-escalating the situation, restoring confidence, and opening the road for peace.
The international community has voiced grave worry over the continued crisis, encouraging all sides to prioritise discussion and peaceful resolution. The African Union has also demanded an immediate cessation of violence and that all parties respect Somalia’s territorial integrity and sovereignty.
The situation in Las Anod remains tense, with new conflicts between the two factions possible. The international community is closely monitoring the situation and urging all sides to strive towards a peaceful settlement of the dispute.