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Senate speaker acknowledges growing crises in Somaliland

Tuesday May 23, 2023


Hargiesa (HOL) - The Speaker of the Somaliland House of Elders (Guurti), Saleeban Mohamud Aden, has declared that crises exist in most regions of Somaliland. Addressing a Senate meeting, he stressed the severity of these crises, stating, "There isn't a place untouched by these issues. As some of us gather in the Senate, we must make decisions regarding unresolved problems. Chaos seems to be everywhere." 

The crises primarily revolve around clan tensions and territorial disputes that have plagued the region for years, leading to sporadic violence. Recent conflicts between clans over land and grazing rights have heightened these tensions. A recent clash in the Togdheer region resulted in the deaths of two people. Despite numerous resolutions through peaceful dialogues in the past, the feud flared up again, signalling a deeper issue within the region.

These territorial disputes have been a long-standing issue for the communities within Togdheer and Sanaag regions, and while many of them have been settled, they keep resurfacing. In an attempt to mediate the situation, Somaliland's President, Muse Bihi Abdi, paid an unexpected visit to the troubled Togdheer region last week.

However, these recent crises present a broader context of escalating political discord that threatens Somaliland's statehood aspirations. For nearly three decades, it enjoyed relative peace and stability until a deadly uprising in Las Anod led to almost 100 people being killed during two weeks in February. Since then, there have been sporadic heavy fighting in the city between Somaliland forces and local militia from the Dhulbahante clan in northern Somalia. Hundreds have been killed, while 200,000 people have been displaced from the town and surrounding areas.

Delayed elections and armed conflict have exacerbated the recent crises. Presidential elections scheduled for November last year were postponed amid contestations, and no new date has been set. The ongoing unrest has placed the political economy and the governance of the Somaliland state system under strain

The rising tensions have been felt not just in the capital Hargeisa. The senate speaker identified several regions experiencing crises, including Sahil, Sanaag, Togdheer, and Awdal.


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