Somalia Prime Minister Hamsa Abdi Barre held a dinner meeting on Monday night with the traditional elders from the Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn regions, collectively known as SCC-Khatumo.
The discussions primarily focused on the ongoing situation in the contested town of Las Anod, situated in the Sool region, where continuous fighting has occurred since earlier this year.
During the meeting, Prime Minister Hamsa Abdi Barre attentively listened to the perspectives of the intellectuals, emphasizing the urgent need to find a peaceful resolution to the conflict. He urged the elders to play an active role in promoting peace, unity, and stability.
In response, the traditional elders appreciated the federal government organizing the meeting and extending a warm reception. They highlighted the dire humanitarian crisis in the Sool region, resulting from the prolonged clashes between Somaliland forces and militias affiliated with the Dhulbahanten clan.
The delegation, comprising elders such as Garad Jama Garad Ismail, Ugas Mohamud Ugas Abdilahi, Garad Abrisaq Garad Soofe, Garad Abdisalan Hassan Mohamed, and Sultan Mustafa Mohamud Awseed, met with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in Mogadishu on Sunday.
Sources indicate that the primary objective of the elders’ arrival to the capital is to discuss the allocation and equitable distribution of international aid to the conflict-affected region. The federal government is reportedly considering directly transferring aid resources to the SCC committee, representing the SCC-Khatumo regions.
Since February 6th, the disputed city of Las Anod has been engulfed in violent clashes between the forces of the self-proclaimed state of Somaliland and local militias associated with the Dhulbahante clan in northern Somalia. Disturbingly, Las Anod’s hospitals have reported a death toll of 299, with 1,913 individuals injured and over 200,000 displaced since the commencement of the conflict.
Somaliland, a self-declared republic that lacks international recognition, emerged as a separatist state in 1991 amid the civil war in Somalia’s northwestern region. It covers nearly 137,600 square kilometres along the southern edge of the Gulf of Aden, a crucial maritime passage connecting the Red Sea and the Arabian Sea. It is a significant route for petroleum shipments. The SCC lays claim to a third of that territory.