Feb 28, 2023

The UNPO Strongly Condems The Recent Acts of Violence Afecting Somaliland. An Urgent Ceasefire And Immediate Humanitarian Access Is Needed.

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) strongly condemns the recent wave of violence in Las Anod, in the Sool region, and urges all parties involved in the conflict to agree to an immediate ceasefire and ensure humanitarian access to the area.

In more than three weeks of clashes, over 100 people have been killed and about 185,000 residents have been displaced. The Republic of Somaliland, which is known for being one of the most prosperous and stable democracies in the region, has never experienced such a deadly conflict for decades. 

The current turmoil in Las Anod began on December 26 when a local opposition politician, Abdifatah Abdullahi Abdi, was assassinated by unknown attackers, sparking anti-government protests across the region. The situation deteriorated further since then, leading to an alarming situation. Somaliland authorities announced a ceasefire on February 10, but two days later accused neighboring Somalia of attacking its forces in the area.

The Republic of Somaliland, located in the Horn of Africa, encompasses the territory of the former British Protectorate of Somaliland. It achieved its full independence from the United Kingdom on 26 June 1960, becoming the 15th African Country to do so. It then voluntarily merged with Somalia in July 1960. However, following a civil war and the collapse of the country, it pulled out of the union and regained its independence in 1991. Although the Sool region was claimed by Somaliland as part of its territory, it has been under dispute for several years with both Somaliland and Puntland claiming ownership.

The Unrepresented Nations and Peoples Organization (UNPO) wishes to reiterate that all conflicts must be resolved by peaceful means, with full respect for human rights, International law and democratic values. Both sides must commit to protecting civilians and opening safe pathways through which emergency aid can reach the most vulnerable. 

Violence is never the answer, dialogue is.