In the midst of escalating tensions between the self-declared republic of Somaliland and Somalia’s Federal Member State Puntland, President Muse Bihi Abdi of the self-declared Republic of Somaliland presided over a military graduation ceremony on Sunday in Hargeisa, the administrative hub of Somaliland.
During his address, President Abdi criticized Puntland for attempting to establish a separate nation based on tribal identity, distinct from both Somalia and Somaliland. He further alleged that Puntland’s President, Saeed Abdullahi Dani, was seeking to address Puntland’s internal issues through conflict with Lasanood, a strategy Abdi deemed fruitless.
Simultaneously, Somaliland’s Military Commander, Nuh Ismail Taani, warned Puntland that Somaliland was prepared to respond forcefully to any provocation in the Sool region.
Despite these escalating tensions, President Abdi underscored peace over violence and stressed the significance of dialogue in resolving the ongoing conflict. “To our people in the Sool region,” he stated, “we urge wisdom and the pursuit of dialogue as the sole means to resolve our differences.”
Earlier this month, the Security Council expressed grave concerns about the continuing violence in Las Anod, situated in northern Somalia’s Sool region. The conflict has resulted in numerous civilian casualties and displaced more than 150,000 individuals. The Council urged an immediate ceasefire, inclusive dialogue, and peaceful dispute resolution, which also appealed to the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia for further support.
Against this backdrop of international concern, the situation remains volatile, with the freshly graduated cadets set for deployment to the turbulent Sool region. They form just a part of a larger cohort currently undergoing training at several military colleges nationwide.
While firmly stating that any attempts to alter Somaliland’s borders were impractical and would be met with robust military action, Abdi maintained his commitment to peace, warning that further warfare would only result in compounded losses.
As these tensions continue to mount, the international community keeps a close watch on the developments, hoping that the call for dialogue and peace will ultimately prevail over the spectre of military action and conflict.