NewsAfricaNearly 100 dead in two weeks in fighting in Somaliland

Nearly 100 dead in two weeks in fighting in Somaliland

Clashes between militias loyal to the Somali government and separatist forces have killed at least 96 people in a fortnight in a town in Somaliland, a disputed region of Somalia, the director of a local hospital said on Thursday.

At least 96 people have been killed in the past two weeks in clashes between loyal and separatist forces in the disputed Somaliland town of Las Anod, Somaliland, the government said on Thursday (February 23rd). director of a local hospital.

“We have 96 dead and 560 injured registered in the main hospital” in the town of Las Anod, Ahmed Mohamed Hassan told AFP by telephone.

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An important traditional leader of Somaliland, involved in the fighting against the soldiers of the separatist forces, had for his part told journalists in Las Anod on Wednesday evening that more than 150 people had died.

“The death toll reached 150 people and more than 500 others were injured,” said the official, Garaad Jama Garaad Ali.

A former British territory, Somaliland declared its independence from Somalia in 1991, an act not recognized by the international community.

The latest violence in Las Anod began 17 days ago, on February 6, hours after customary chiefs issued a statement pledging to support “the unity and integrity of the Federal Republic of Somalia”, urging the Somaliland authorities to withdraw their forces from the area.

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A ceasefire was decreed on February 10 by the authorities, but the two parties accuse each other of having violated it.

In particular, the clashes seemed to have resumed on Thursday, according to witnesses and customary chiefs.

“It started early in the morning and already several mortar and artillery fire fell on the town,” resident Mohamed Saleban told AFP by phone, saying residents were fleeing.

On February 16, the local UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said that more than 185,000 people, 89% of them women and children, had fled the violence in Las Anod.

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Somaliland, a region of 4.5 million people, remains poor and isolated but enjoys relative stability as Somalia has been ravaged by decades of civil war and Islamist insurgency.

With AFP

Source: France 24


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