Early Saturday morning (April 1st), the Somaliland National Army again successfully defended its positions in Las Anod and Goja-Adde, Sool region, against another surprise attack by a coalition of armed groups and militias led by the Puntland Regional Administration of Somalia.
The assault took place right after the US State Department issued a warning on Friday (March 31st) calling on militias in Las Anod to refrain from launching further offensive attacks against Somaliland.
The Somaliland National Army captured weapons, vehicles, and soldiers loyal to Somalia’s Puntland Region in the battle. Farah Dalmar, a Puntland politician who recently served as a legislator in the region’s parliament, is the most notable soldier being held captive by the Somaliland Army.
Dalmar reportedly resigned from the Puntland Regional assembly earlier this year to join the rebellion against the Somaliland Army in Las Anod.
Farah was known to be one of the most high-profile avid social media users within the front fighting against the Somaliland Army, often uploading videos showing off weapons and rebel activity in Las Anod to platforms such as Snapchat and Facebook.
The Las Anod clan rebellion has also become a cause for regional and international concern as terrorist groups, currently fleeing their bases in central Somalia, are now infiltrating the area. Both ISIS and Al-Shabaab have established a presence in Somalia’s Puntland region, and it appears that their influence is being exported to Las Anod, Somaliland.
This development poses an even greater threat to Somaliland’s stability and security – and neighboring countries like Ethiopia – as the infiltration of these extremist groups complicates ongoing efforts to establish peace and lasting solutions to the conflict.
The crux of the conflict in Las Anod can be traced back to the recent discovery of oil across Somaliland. As highlighted in a previous article, “Somaliland’s Oil Find: A Wake-Up Call For US Foreign Policy“, foreign actors are suspected of fueling the unrest as they vie for control and influence over these valuable resources. It is believed that the involvement of these external powers has exacerbated the situation and further complicated the resolution of the conflict.
Moreover, the involvement of foreign actors is not only aggravating the Las Anod crisis but also undermining Somaliland’s sovereignty and security. It is crucial that the international community takes note of these destabilizing forces and acts accordingly to support Somaliland in its efforts to maintain peace and stability in the region.
Somaliland’s stability is vital not just for its citizens but also for the broader geopolitical landscape in the Horn of Africa.
The situation in Las Anod remains volatile, with the potential for further escalation if external actors and terrorist groups continue to exploit the conflict. It is essential for the international community to keep a watchful eye on the unfolding events and provide support to Somaliland in its pursuit of peace, stability, and sovereignty.
Written by Robleh Mohamud Raghe
Robleh Mohamud Raghe is a writer, analyst, marketing executive, and former communications aide to the 4th President of Somaliland, Ahmed Sillanyo. You can follow him on Twitter at @RM_Laf. For news tips and inquiries, feel free to reach out at email@example.com
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