Saturday May 20, 2023
Las Anod (HOL) - In an unprecedented move amid ongoing hostilities, Jama Hassan Khalif, Somalia's Minister of Communications and Technology, visited the contested town of Las Anod. The visit marked the first occasion a representative of the federal government had set foot in the city since the conflict erupted between the Somaliland army and the SCC-Khatuma forces.
Khalif held discussions with members of the 33rd committee of the SSC. At present, details regarding the duration of his stay in town remain uncertain.
Minister Jama's visit follows the high-profile visit of former Police Commissioner Abdi Hassan Hijar in late February.
The conflict in Las Anod, initially sparked by the murder of Somaliland politician Abdifatah Hadrawi, has escalated beyond a mere security concern, transforming into a complex political and clan issue.
The persistent unrest casts a long shadow over potential peace talks between Somalia and Somaliland. The Somaliland administration contends that both Puntland and the federal government are jointly fueling the war, a claim that further complicates the prospect of dialogue.
On the flip side, the traditional elders of the SSC-Khatumo faction are countering with accusations of their own. They allege that Somaliland has been disseminating misinformation regarding the conflict. They firmly maintain that Puntland forces have no part in the conflict in Las Anod, contending that local residents are defending their city from the invasive actions of the Somaliland troops.