UN Security Council calls for withdrawal of Somaliland from the town of Las Anod
In Somaliland, the battle for control of the disputed town of Las Anod is now diplomatic. Since the beginning of the year, Somaliland forces have been clashing with local clan militias, who reject the self-proclaimed state's tutelage over the border region of the Somali state of Puntland. If the last exchanges of fire on the ground date from May 18, a press release issued Wednesday June 7 in New York by the UN Security Council asked the armed forces of Somaliland to "withdraw".
Locality of Las Anod in Somaliland. © RFI
Text by: RFI Follow
The communiqué of the Emirati presidency of the Security Council is clear. It "reaffirms its full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia", in other words the rejection of Somaliland's independence. It calls on the belligerents for a ceasefire and dialogue. And it also asks Somaliland, which the Council writes in quotation marks, to "withdraw" its "security forces", without specifying whether it refers to the town of Las Anod itself or its region, the Sool, claimed by local forces with the support of neighboring Puntland.
This was noted by the government of Somaliland. In a reaction published Thursday, he recalled that his forces had already withdrawn from Las Anod in February and now maintain "a defensive position" outside the city. He also recalled that in his eyes, they confront not only local militiamen, but also Shebab jihadists, who according to him "use clan allegiances" as a "cover", according to him.
The committee governing Las Anod welcomed the "significant step forward" of the Security Council, of course. As well as Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamoud, who on Wednesday received with honors, at Villa Somalia, the leaders of the insurgent city.
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