I appreciate the international community’s interest and involvement regarding the conflict in the Sool region of Somaliland.
While I agree with most of the points made in their press release, I must respectfully disagree with their expressed disappointment regarding H.E. The President’s alleged lack of commitment to withdrawing Somaliland forces from the area surrounding Laascaanood.
While I agree that an immediate and unconditional end to hostilities is crucial, I am uncertain about the concept of “separation of forces.”
It is important to stress that SOMALILAND’s military is fully dedicated to safeguarding the nation against various militias from neighboring regions such as Puntland, Kismaayo, Gedo of Somalia, and other places, as well as the known terrorist groups that have infiltrated the city of LasAnod. Hence, it is justifiable for SOMALILAND to possess the means to protect its borders, given that LasAnod is an essential part of SOMALILAND.
It is important to recognize that SOMALILAND has consistently and openly proclaimed its dedication to ceasefire agreements and peaceful negotiations as a way of settling the conflict. They have indicated a readiness to participate in further talks aimed at achieving a peaceful resolution to the ongoing dispute. Moreover, the military of SOMALILAND has already withdrawn from the city and is not currently positioned to advance any further.
However, throughout the duration of the conflict, the government of SOMALILAND has actively pursued initiatives aimed at fostering peace in LasAnod. Unfortunately, a group of high-ranking SOMALILAND officials, led by Mohamed Kahin and Minister of Information and National Guidance Sulieman Ali Koore, narrowly escaped an assassination attempt in which their guards, numbering in the dozens, were killed at the hotel Hamdi where they were staying.
Additionally, a distinguished delegation of traditional elders from SOMALILAND played an active role in advocating for peace, making a journey to the LasAnod area to hold discussions with their counterparts from Sool.
Moreover, the President of Djibouti, H.E. Ismail Omar, made considerable efforts to advance peace, even dispatching a plane to invite the Garaads to Djibouti for negotiations.
Similarly, a senior Ethiopian official held talks with the President of SOMALILAND and the government, as well as with traditional leaders from the Sool region in Puntland, but unfortunately failed to achieve a resolution due to the reluctance of the Garaads and other veterans from LasAnod to pursue peace.
Unfortunately, in spite of these efforts, the Sool Garaads and other traditional elders chose not to participate in these peace efforts, which paved the way for the conflict to continue.
As a result, we express our appreciation to the international community for their involvement in promoting peace and fostering discussions aimed at reaching a resolution.
I would like to express my gratitude to the international community for engaging in discussions about the situation in the Sool region of Somaliland, particularly in LasAnod, in order to help find a resolution to the conflict and to ensure fair and peaceful elections in Somaliland.
Furthermore, I want to acknowledge and appreciate our partners’ concern over the ongoing violence and conflict in Laascaanood. I agree with their sentiment that the safety and well-being of the population should be the top priority in any political decisions made regarding the situation. They have rightly emphasized the need for an immediate and unconditional cessation of hostilities and for the separation of forces at agreed-upon sites.
We appreciate the international community’s willingness to compromise and create a space for dialogue towards a lasting peace. We are grateful for their offer to assist in identifying ways to achieve this peace by facilitating dialogue.
Regarding comments on elections in Somaliland.
We extend our gratitude to the partners of the international community for their attention to the crucial matter of expediting progress on elections in SOMALILAND. It is essential that H.E. the President of SOMALILAND promptly releases a comprehensive roadmap for the elections, outlining the sequence and timing of the process to enable necessary technical arrangements. Concrete actions are imperative to guarantee that the elections can occur as early as possible.
Be assured that the entire nation of SOMALILAND wants elections happen at the earliest opportunity so that SOMALILAND can continue their democratization processes.
The recent statement made by President Muse Bihi is pertinent and significant. The priority should be to establish peace and stability before proceeding with voter registration in the eastern regions, and the rest of the country followed by organizing the elections. President Bihi stressed the significance of following the correct order of steps, prioritizing peace and stability over elections. His statement highlights the importance of avoiding haste and ensuring that necessary measures are taken in a proper sequence.
The IC Partner’s acknowledgement of H.E. the President’s commitment to seeking peace and engaging in dialogue, as well as his willingness to hold elections, is greatly appreciated.