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Fighting breaks out in Las Anod after weeks of calm

Tuesday May 16, 2023

Las Anod (HOL) - Heavy fighting was reported on the outskirts of Las Anod town on Tuesday morning, involving the Somaliland army and SSC-Khatuma forces.

The fight occurred east and west of the disputed Las Anod town. According to residents, the fighting erupted after the Somaliland army began movements on the frontlines.

The sound of artillery fire can be heard throughout the town.

The extent of the damage caused by the conflict is not yet known, and there have been no official comments from either side.

Earlier this morning, social media posts showed a Somaliland military armored vehicle heading towards the Goja Adde command, which is believed to have contributed to the outbreak of fighting. Tuesday’s clash comes amid a relative lull in violence after weeks of heavy fighting.

Since February 6, there has been heavy fighting in the northern Somali city of Las Anod between troops of Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland and local militia from the Dhulbahante clan in northern Somalia. Hundreds have been killed, while thousands have been displaced from the town.

Tuesday's clashes occurred following the withdrawal of clan militia forces from the frontline last night to Garowe, the administrative capital of Puntland State. These forces are protesting against the local Puntland government's plans to hold elections.

The local council elections are scheduled for January 8, 2024.

Just a day ago, Puntland's police chief, Mumin Abdi Shire, vowed to take action against individuals attempting to disrupt the upcoming local council elections. He stressed that the police are aware of those planning to organize militias and attack election sites, and they will take responsibility for any consequences.

Last week, Prime Minister Hamza emphasized that the federal government would not accept an election process that could harm Puntland. He suggested that while people should have the freedom to participate in elections, it should be done in a manner agreed upon to avoid endangering the stability of Puntland.


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