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UN releases 2 mln USD to help save lives amid clashes in northern Somalia

Wednesday March 8, 2023

MOGADISHU, March 8 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations humanitarian agency said Tuesday it has released 2 million U.S. dollars for life-saving interventions as clashes between security forces and clan leaders in Las Anod in northern Somalia intensified.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the security situation in the disputed Las Anod region remains volatile as the fighting entered its sixth week.

According to the UN body, the fighting which erupted on Feb. 6 has killed at least 80 people and injured 451 more, including medical personnel, noting that hospitals have been damaged, jeopardizing access to essential care for the wounded.

"Movement along the road connecting Las Anod to Garowe is limited due to the ongoing insecurity. Transport disruptions are also reported along the main road that connects Bossaso to Las Anod and Burco to Las Anod, affecting the availability of supplies and driving commodity prices up," the OCHA said in its Flash Update issued in Mogadishu, the capital of Somalia.

The fighting comes at a time when almost 214,000 people in the Sool Region, 43 percent of the population, are experiencing a crisis or worse levels of acute food insecurity due to severe drought, according to the UN body.

The humanitarian community has expressed extreme concern about the impact of the fighting on the overall humanitarian situation in the region.

Local reports quoted the mayor of the contested town Abdirahim Ali Ismail as saying that about 210 people have lost their lives and 680 others wounded in the clashes.

Las Anod is in the Sool and Sanaag regions, which are claimed by both Somaliland and Puntland States.

The current fighting broke out after local clan elders issued a declaration stating that they are no longer part of Somaliland and that the Sool, Sanaag, and Cayn regions are now governed by the government of Somalia.

Both sides are reportedly using heavy artillery and machine guns, causing serious damage, including to health facilities in the area.


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