Investigative Reports

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Somaliland Army Ordered to Barracks to De-escalate Las Anod Crisis

Somaliland Armed Forces command announced the arrest of two of it’s members responsible for the death of a civilian yesterday that led to further riots and attacks on their positions in Las Anod. Initial unconfirmed reports indicated that the deceased individual was armed and opened fire on troops who returned fire killing him. Army spokesman stated that the incident is under investigation.

In consultation with the elders of the local community to de-escalate, the Army spokesman stated that the army units in Las Anod were ordered back to their Barracks.

The President of Somaliland Muse Bihi Abdi said in speech earlier in the week that the Military would leave the city once normalcy was restored.

Speaker of the Parliament Mr. Khalif who has also heavily criticized [link to bbc interview] the executive branch headed by President Bihi on its handling of the situation in Las Anod in two interviews he gave to the BBC Somali service has suggested the removal of the army from the city to help es-escalate the situation. Mr. Khalif is among many dissenting voices which called for calm and immediate de-escalation.

The Mayor of Las Anod city has confirmed the removal of the armed forces from the city and added that one of the region’s most influential leaders Garaad Jama Garad Ismail is in Las Anod and is working with others including business owners to stop further disturbances, remove rocks and other debris blocking the streets and help re-open the city.

“Today the 5th of January 2022, the city of Las Anod is peaceful, there are no riots or crisis and we have returned to normal” said the mayor in his press briefing on the state of the city of Las Anod. He also thanked the residents and called upon them to safeguard the peace and security of their city.

Conflation of the targeted assassinations in Las Anod and Sool that have led to the riots with territorial claim from Somalia’s Puntland region over parts of Somaliland including Sool region on the basis of tribal composition have led to sharp rise in incitement of violence from prominent politicians from Somalia particularly Puntland region and others in the diaspora who have called on the people of Las Anod to take up arms against Somaliland.

Threats of incursion into Somaliland from Puntland’s armed forces in neighboring Somalia and President of neighboring province of Somalia Puntland, Mr. Said Abdullahi Deni who promised to send troops into Las Anod to help free it from Somaliland have not materialized.

Despite deteriorating security situation in Puntland including a bombing at Hotel Jabir where government officials including the Ministers of Interior and Finance as well other security officials were meeting and multiple shootings around the region that results in death and injury of civilians, many in Puntland including prominent politicians and media have sought to exploit the grieves of the people of Las Anod to further their claims over parts of Somaliland. United States has recently sanctioned many prominent businessmen from Puntland on illicit arms trade.

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