Unveiling the Enigma: Somaliland’s strategic withdrawal from Goja-Ade and Las Anod reveals a web of intrigue and political machinations

Somaliland’s recent withdrawal of its military from Goja-Ade and Las Anod has significant implications for regional security. The withdrawal aimed to reduce tensions, but was marred by casualties and the capture of Somaliland soldiers. The conflict involves Al-Shabaab, Somalia, Puntland, and Las Anod militias seeking to gain control of the region, while Somaliland aims to maintain its sovereignty.

The international community must support Somaliland to prevent extremist groups from establishing a base in Las Anod. However, Somalia’s army, trained by foreign actors, has been used against Somaliland. The conflict risks escalating into ethnic violence and destabilizing the region. Puntland seeks to exploit Las Anod while Al-Shabaab aims to levy taxes.


The G21 group aims to destabilize Somaliland while the Mogadishu government supports Las Anod militias. Somaliland can defend itself but requires international support to provide effective border security.

Somaliland's Strategic Withdrawal From Las Anod And The Battle For SovereigntyIn a recent turn of events, Somaliland’s military executed a strategic withdrawal from the Goja-Ade Military base and Las Anod, unveiling a complex web of participants in the ongoing conflict. The withdrawal, announced by the Somaliland Ministry of Defense, aimed at reducing tensions in the region. However, the situation in Las Anod involves a mix of participants such as Al-Shabaab, Somalia forces, Puntland regional state forces, Las Anod militias, and external actors.

This intricate dynamic raises concerns about regional stability, prompting calls for international support to prevent terrorist organizations from gaining control of Las Anod.

The Complexity of the Conflict

The conflict in Las Anod has evolved into a multifaceted challenge, with various participants pursuing different objectives. Al-Shabaab, known for its terrorist activities, seeks to establish a strong presence and utilize Las Anod for its strategic advantage. Las Anod militias have their own ambitions of creating a separate regional entity within Somalia, while Puntland aims to destabilize Somaliland and exploit Las Anod as a buffer or conflict zone. Somalia forces and external actors further complicate the situation, highlighting the need for a comprehensive approach to address the conflict’s complexities.

Somaliland's Strategic Withdrawal From Las Anod And The Battle For SovereigntySomaliland’s Strategic Withdrawal

Somaliland’s recent retreat from Goja-Ade and Las Anod was a strategic decision undertaken to promote peace and respond to international calls for de-escalation. However, the withdrawal faced challenges due to inadequate planning, resulting in casualties and the capture of soldiers by terrorist organizations and Las Anod militias. Despite these setbacks, many experts view Somaliland’s withdrawal as a gesture of goodwill and an opportunity for peace in the region.

The Call for International Support

Security experts emphasize the importance of international support to prevent terrorist organizations from gaining control of Las Anod. The region’s stability is at stake, and the international community’s engagement is crucial in preventing further escalation and safeguarding regional security. Neglecting the conflict may inadvertently empower extremist groups, posing a threat not only to Somaliland but to the entire region.

Somaliland's Strategic Withdrawal From Las Anod And The Battle For SovereigntyConclusion

As the conflict in Las Anod continues to unfold, the international community faces a critical decision regarding its response. The complexity of the conflict, with its diverse mix of participants and their diverging interests, highlights the need for a comprehensive and collaborative approach. Supporting Somaliland’s resilience and sovereignty can contribute to preventing further escalation while maintaining stability in the region. Swift and decisive action is required to address the challenges posed by the conflict in Las Anod.

This article was originally published on Som Elite on September 11, 2023. Written by: Kasim Abdulkadir

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