Somaliland clashes result in at least 57 deaths

Somaliland clashes result in at least 57 deaths

Kanako Mita and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times

Fresh clashes have erupted in Somaliland. Once more, the flashpoint was Las Anod which also witnessed deaths last month.

Some local leaders in Las Anod – according to media sources – seek to rejoin the government of Somalia. This is despite the relative stability of Somaliland compared with the ongoing al-Shabaab Islamist insurgency in Somalia.

Africa News reports (last year)“For 30 years, Somaliland has tried unsuccessfully to convince the world of its case for statehood, holding democratic elections and avoiding the anarchy that engulfed the rest of Somalia.”

Several major clashes this year bode ill for a region blighted by many issues. Accordingly, it is hoped that Somaliland, the Somali state of Puntland, and forces that seek to rejoin Somalia can reach an accommodation – to stem the cycle of violence.

Voice of America reports, “At least 57 people have been confirmed dead in days of clashes between antigovernment fighters and Somaliland security forces in the disputed city of Las Anod after local leaders said they wanted to rejoin the federal government of Somalia, a doctor reported Saturday.”

Last month, security forces from Somaliland withdrew from the disputed area. However, clashes this week indicate that this tactic didn’t calm the situation.

Despite decades of chaos in Somalia, the international community was lame in its response to the creation of Somaliland. Accordingly, the democratic world should have reached out more to Somaliland – while seeking accommodation with Somalia to ease tensions.

The United Nations said, “Indiscriminate shelling of civilians is unacceptable and must stop.”

It is hoped that grievances can be met and that an agreement can be reached between all interested parties.

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