US calls for ‘immediate’ cease-fire in Somalia’s Las Anod town

Published: February 24, 2023

The US diplomatic mission in Somalia demanded an “immediate” unconditional cease-fire Thursday in Somalia’s northern town of Lasanod.

The remarks came after a delegation from the mission, led by Chargé d’Affaires Tim Trenkle arrived in the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa and held a series of political and civil society discussions.

The delegation met Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi and discussed violence in Lasanod.

“Frank discussions this morning with #Somaliland President @musebiihi about the tragic loss of lives and violence in Lascanood. The United States joins the international community in calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire & unhindered humanitarian access,” said the US Embassy in Somalia.

The Somaliland presidency said the Somaliland president and Trenkle discussed Somaliland-US engagement, violence in Lasanod, and regional security.

“They also discussed resuming Somaliland-Somalia negotiations,” it added.

Lasanod, the provincial capital of the Sool region in the breakaway region of Somaliland, has seen fierce fighting between Somaliland forces and local militias that have been ongoing for the past three weeks. The violence has killed more than 100 people, including women and children from both sides.

The fighting started after a group of traditional leaders announced they would no longer recognize the Somaliland government and declared the territory of the Sool and Sanaag region will be ruled from Mogadishu.

Somaliland is a former British protectorate in northwestern Somalia that declared independence in 1991 but has received no international recognition.