Somalia | 09 February 2023

Somalia: Conflict in Somaliland brewing

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According to a report by Reuters on 6 February 2023, at least 34 people were killed on 6 February in clashes between Somaliland security forces and an anti-government armed group in Laascaanood, a town in Somalia's northern breakaway region of Somaliland. Clashes have been going on for some time; a number of clan leaders are apparently seeking to rejoin federal Somalia.

World Watch Research analyst Yonas Dembele comments: “Somaliland has been a semi-autonomous region since 1991 and although not widely recognized by the international community, the region has been acting as an independent nation. The area around Laascaanood where the recent clash happened has been a point of contention; Puntland, another semi-autonomous region, has in the past claimed the town as part of its territory. Even though clashes between clans are not uncommon, the fighting on 6 February has taken the issue to another level. The fact that the Puntland authorities publicly threw their support behind those opposing the Somaliland authorities means that serious conflict could develop between the two semiautonomous regions. This could exacerbate the situation in what is already one of the most unstable regions in the whole of Africa. For Christians, another crisis in the region can only mean more vulnerability and danger.”


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