Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi addressed concerns about the emergence of anti-government rebels in Ga’an Libax Mountain during a forum on Sunday.
But the president downplayed the threat posed by the rebels, stating that the people of Somaliland were not interested in engaging in conflict.
President Bihi emphasized that the militias’ portrayal as a significant threat on social media is exaggerated. He attributed their actions to typical political rivalries that often arise during elections, reassuring the public that the situation is not as dire as reported.
“I believe there will be no major problems,” President Bihi affirmed confidently. “The people are committed to peace, and there is no readiness for internal fighting.”
During the forum, the President also directed his words to officials from opposition parties, offering assurance that their dissent would not be met with government repression.
Bihi further addressed the long-awaited election, confirming its imminent occurrence without specifying a precise date.
However, the rebel group’s spokesman, Ahmed Ali Haybe, claimed that the militia’s recent activity in the mountains was in response to President Bihi’s use of force against the opposition. Last Wednesday, the rebels kidnapped eight military officers and elders in the Gode-weyn district but released them after several hours.
Meanwhile, traditional leaders have reportedly intervened and started to mediate a ceasefire between the warring groups.
The militia group said they oppose the outgoing president’s decision to dismiss democracy in the country, and is engaging in activities that undermine peace and stability in the region. The government has called for the disarmament of the group.
Ugas Ahmed Ali Mahdi emphasized the importance of maintaining peace and security, highlighting the need to avoid violence and conflicts that can lead to devastating consequences.
Some of the Traditional leaders acknowledged the rebel’s concerns and blamed the government for dismissing the opposition’s demand to presidential elections, rather than the political party elections pushed by the outgoing president.
The clashes between the Somaliland Police Force and the recently formed rebel group have escalated in the Gacan-Libaax region, with a recent confrontation near the Dari-maraa village.
The police force was deployed to the area after the group was accused of instigating violence, with fear of them taking control of the Berbera port.