Saturday February 25, 2023
Mogadishu (HOL) - The Somali diaspora in Washington, DC, demonstrated against the violence in the contested town of Las Anod, where more than 150 people have been killed in three weeks of clashes.One of the protesters, Abdirashid Mohamed Farah, accused Somaliland's President, Muse Bihi Abdi, of carrying out a massacre in the town and killing children, elders, and women.
The demonstrators, carrying the Somali flag and placards with anti-violence messages, demanded an immediate and unconditional end to the fighting and bombings.
"It is forbidden to kill children, elders, or women. The town of Somaliland cannot be conquered. Five hundred thousand people, including children and women, have been forcibly displaced from Las Anod. We will not allow Muse Bihi to kill innocent people," said Farah.
The Somali community's protest in Washington, DC, comes after the US diplomatic mission in Somalia demanded an "immediate" unconditional cease-fire in Somalia's northern town of Lasanod on Thursday.
The remarks came after a delegation from the mission, led by Chargé d'Affaires Tim Trenkle, visited the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa and held a series of political and civil society discussions.
The delegation met Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi and discussed violence in Las Anod.
The Somaliland presidency said the Somaliland president and Trenkle discussed Somaliland-US engagement, violence in Las Anod, and regional security.
Las Anod is the capital of the Sool region, which, together with the Sanaag and Cayn regions, is fighting to withdraw from Somaliland and be governed by Somalia to the south.
The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said Wednesday clashes between security forces and clan leaders in Las Anod in northern Somalia have left 150 people dead and over 600 others wounded since Feb. 6.