Lewis Center, Ohio—Following 30 years of untenable union and a brutal civil war, Somaliland people withdrew from the union and reclaimed its independence in 1991 after the collapse of the authoritarian regime of Somalia. Since then, the 6 million Somaliland people have chartered a new course and managed to run their own affairs and they developed. a political system where people can live and work together. This is not the case in Somalia.
The Somali political leaders and clan elders who failed to rebuild their nation and manage their own affairs for 30 years are lashing out their frustrations towards Somaliland because it is developing close ties with the United States on security matters. On 12/23/22, President Biden signed into law the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) allowing Somaliland to participate in U.S. military programs. The U.S. congress is finally starting to recognize the reality on the ground.
Because of their frustrations, the radical Anti-Somaliland groups, including Darood tribal militias from Somalia and Ethiopia, Puntland state of Somalia security forces, Jihadists, and members of the US backed Somali army are very determined to subvert the peace and stability in Somaliland.
Just 12 weeks ago, Las-Anood the capital of Sool region of Somaliland was a peaceful town, with an elected mayor and a local council. kids were attending schools, businesses were bustling, and the local police were keeping the streets safe. What started as a civil disturbance against politically motivated assassinations has turned into a full-blown battle.
Now, Las Anood is a ghost town, with the only inhabitants remaining are heavily armed tribal militias and terrorists. Most of the residents of Las-Anood are either refugees in Ethiopia or internally displaced in Somaliland, or Puntland. The Somali Darood diasporas and their community leaders in America are giving the refugees false hope that they will be resettled in Minnesota with the US government providing them free housing, food, and health care.
To de-escalate the conflict the Somaliland army has shown restraint unlike some of the other armies in the region, and has withdrawn from Las-Anood town to avoid endangering civilians. Somaliland government has called repeatedly for cease fire and dialogue. But the radical clan elders have rejected the call for a ceasefire and are demanding the Somaliland army to withdraw entirely from Sool region. They’re saying that they want to be a region-controlled by the so-called Federal Republic of Somalia—a government whose survival depends on foreign troops and unable to control even the streets of Mogadishu.
The Federal Government of Somalia is exacerbating in Las-Anood by allowing US trained Danab, and other of its army units to fight in Las-Anood. It is also treating wounded fighters at Medina hospital in Mogadishu and sending ammunition and medical supplies for the combatants.
For instance, in the latest skirmishes, a Danab military commander was killed in action, and a Puntland State legislator was captured.
After the Jihadists and anti- Somaliland radicals failed to dislodge JSL army from Las-Anood proper through violence, they started a well-orchestrated coordinated campaign in the places of worship, social media, to malign Somaliland efforts to restore law and order in Las-Anood. They are accusing the Somaliland Army of committing war crimes by shelling hospitals, places of worship, and residential areas–which is a falsehood.
They are ignoring who started the lawlessness, chaos, and looting in Las-Anood. They ignore terrorists who raided a hotel at dawn where most senior JSL officials, including the Interior Minister and the commander of Somaliland armed forces, were staying. Their plan was to kill senior officials, but the brave JSL army thwarted their attack. At least dozens of our forces died in that attack.
These radical groups and some senior officials of the US backed Somali government are using Las Anood as a platform to undermine Somaliland. Because they are against, a multi-clan, independent, democratic Somaliland trading with its neighbors and helping peace and stability in the Horn of Africa.
But the JSL Army should not leave until they finish their mission: dismantling and defeating the terror networks and tribal militias in Las-Anood.
Somaliland National Defense Forces (SLNDF) took oath to defend and protect our freedom and security in order for the next generation to inherit a free and democratic Somaliland because “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”
Let me conclude by saying to the Somaliland people disturbed by the violence and lawlessness of the past weeks, and to the good people of Las Anood caught at the center of this manufactured senseless suffering, your future belongs with Somaliland. We should resolve our political division by peaceful means or through ballot boxes.
The U.S., Britain, European Union, and the African Union should realize that the 6 million Somalilanders cannot tolerate more years of uncertainty about what country they live in and what the future holds for them.
Finally, the Somalia apologists at the State Department should understand that we are aware of the flaws in our electoral system, especially holding presidential elections on timely manner, and the legitimate grievances of some of our communities, but the most basic responsibility of the any government, including Somaliland government is to maintain public order and safety in Las- Anood and throughout its territory. SLNDF will restore order in Las-Anood, the violence will end, and Somaliland will prevail!
May Allah Bless SLNDF
Founder and Editor Gubanmedia