Friday May 19, 2023
Las Anod (HOL) - The supreme traditional clan chief of the Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn regions, Garad Jama Garad Ali, has revealed that the Somaliland President rejected a meeting with the traditional elders from Mogadishu and advocated for further war.Garad Jama underlined President Bihi reiterated that the fight would continue until the limits imposed by the former colonialists, who divided the Somali nation, were reached. He emphasized that peace died on that day.
In an interview with Gaylan Media on Thursday, the clan chief disclosed that President Bihi invited the elders to his hometown but refused to meet with them while they were still in Hargeisa.
During a commemoration event on May 18, President Bihi accused ex-officials from Somalia's former military regime and the Puntland administration of conspiracy to partition Somaliland. He stressed that Somaliland would resist any attempts to infringe upon its borders, warning that any violation could jeopardize all of Somalia's borders.
Last month, a delegation of traditional elders from Mogadishu travelled to Hargeisa intending to mediate between the Somaliland government and the traditional elders of the SCC-Khatumo faction in the conflict-ridden town of Las Anod.
The delegation was expected to discuss with Somaliland leaders, including President Muse Bihi, to explore ways to end the four-month-long conflict, which has resulted in over 100 deaths, 600 injuries, and a severe impact on the civilian population.
During the interview, the clan chief emphasized that no one could convince President Bihi to withdraw his army from the SSC region. He pledged that they would escalate the war and block the supply routes of the Somaliland army. He further emphasized that each community should govern its affairs, citing it as the most viable solution for achieving peace.
Ethiopia and Djibouti have made efforts to mediate the conflict in Somaliland. In March 2023, Ethiopia sent a delegation to Hargeisa and Garowe to discuss the cessation of hostilities in Las Anod. However, these mediation efforts did not yield positive results.
In May, President Bihi stipulated a condition for Puntland to withdraw its troops, weapons, and tanks from Las Anod before further action could be taken.
However, the traditional elders of the SSC-Khatumo faction accused Somaliland of spreading false information and reiterated that no Puntland forces were involved in the fighting in Las Anod. They argued that the locals were defending the city against Somaliland troops.