At least 82 killed in Somaliland conflict: Doctor

Over 400 wounded amid fighting in conflict-hit town of Lasanod

Mohammed Dhaysane  | 14.02.2023 - Update : 14.02.2023
At least 82 killed in Somaliland conflict: Doctor FILE PHOTO


At least 82 people, including civilians, have been killed in eight days of fighting in Somalia's breakaway region of Somaliland, a medical source said Monday. 

Abdimajid Hussein Sugulle, a medical doctor at Manhal Hospital in Lasanod, told Anadolu by phone that more than 82 people were killed during the conflict in the town.

“We have been receiving people with various wounds, including people who were wounded in the shelling that Somaliland forces have been targeting the town with for several days. During the fighting, more than 400 people were wounded,” he told Anadolu.

He said they have been receiving an average of 10 seriously wounded people.

Fighting started in Lasanod, the administrative capital of Sool in Somalia’s breakaway region, after a group of local leaders, civil society groups and religious leaders announced last week that they will no longer recognize the Somaliland government.

In a statement, they said the territory will now be ruled from Mogadishu, Somalia’s capital.

The Somaliland administration has labelled the local forces “terrorists” and blamed them for the violence.

“Somaliland has always demanded dialogue over the conflict between Somaliland & Somalia to preserve regional peace & urges respect for pre-1960 borders & self-determination for its people, as failure to do so may lead to regional instability and the resurgence of piracy & terrorism,” Somaliland Vice President Abdirahman Saylici said Monday on Twitter.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said a volunteer from the Somali Red Crescent, Abdisalam Saed, was killed by a stray bullet on Saturday.

“We call for restraint and access to neutral and impartial humanitarian actors,” it said.

The conflict in Lasanod has also caused mass displacement.

According to the UN Resident Coordinator and Humanitarian Coordinator for Somalia, Adam Abdelmoula, the clashes have displaced more than 80,000 people, compounding the Sool/Sanaag drought induced humanitarian crisis.

“Int’l human rights law & IHL (where applicable) must be upheld. Violators should be investigated and held to account,” he said on Twitter.

The town is disputed between Somaliland and the semiautonomous state of Puntland, with the neighbors having fought several times over the territory.

Protesters were out in Lasanod to demand the expulsion of Somaliland security forces and for the town to be handed over to Puntland authorities.

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