Hargeisa, Somaliland, June 8th, 2023 – The Government of the Republic of Somaliland welcomes the statement from the UN Security Council on the cessation of hostilities, on creating conditions for peace, unhindered provisions of humanitarian assistance and stabilization of the situation in Las Anod. However, we also wish to express our concern that UNSC appears to be misinformed about the facts on the ground. On the 26th of February 2023, Somaliland forces withdrew from Las Anod and since then have maintained a static defensive position outside the city of Las Anod. The Somaliland Security forces have rigorously avoided civilian casualties, only firing to maintain their defensive positions against the militia forces.
The government of Somaliland is concerned by the Security Council’s failure to acknowledge the rapidly expanding presence of Al Shabab in Las Anod and Sool region of Somaliland. This poses a threat not only to Somaliland but also to our neighbors, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti as well as the entire region. In our letter to the UN Secretary General, dated 12th of April 2023 we informed him of the growing threat of Al Shabab in Las Anod and Sool region. No single state can contain this threat and the Government of Somaliland therefore appeals to the members of the UN Security Council to provide their attention and support in addressing this growing threat.
Our government has called for dialogue throughout this conflict, unfortunately, these calls have not been accepted by Las’anod clan leaders. Throughout this conflict, Somaliland has provided access to international organizations to deliver humanitarian aid to our people in Las Anod and has facilitated the delivery of medical supplies. The government has continuously provided food, water, and medical supplies to the displaced in areas outside of Las’anod.
The Somaliland forces in Sool region are protecting the people, sovereignty, and territory of the Republic of Somaliland within our recognized borders at the time of independence. Our international borders are in conformity with article 4 of African Union Constitutive Act which the United Nation recognizes.
The principal obstacle to peace and stability in Las Anod are militia forces from neighboring Puntland State of Somalia that are actively fueling the conflict. It is apparent that Al-Shabab terrorist fighters are also using clan allegiance as a cover for their activities in Las Anod. The only way that the conflict in Las Anod can be resolved is the withdrawal of Puntland forces from Las Anod. We also urge the UN Security Council to support the commencement of peace efforts.