Somaliland promises revenge after militia attack on military base

The leader of Somaliland, a separatist region in Somalia, pledged on Saturday to retaliate against a local militia that captured a significant army base belonging to his forces the previous day.

The separatist region has been experiencing prolonged conflict between its own armed forces and a clan militia that is contesting the authority of the self-proclaimed republic.

The region declared independence from Somalia in 1991; however, its sovereignty has not been acknowledged on the global stage.

The SSC militia announced on Friday that it had captured the Goojacade base in the Sool region. The city of Las Anod, which is contested by both Somaliland and the neighboring autonomous region of Puntland, serves as the capital of the Sool region.

“People should not be discouraged due to the fighting even though there are losses inflicted on the army,” Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi told a Saturday press conference in his capital Hargeisa.

“That should not be perceived negatively because the army is still intact and we will take our revenge against the alliance that perpetrated” the attack, he vowed, insisting the people “should not be fearing further escalation of the situation and war.”

Abdilatif Adan, a Las Anod resident, communicated to the media via phone the situation is presently calm and that there is no active conflict, yet there is a notable buildup of military presence.

However, he also added that there is a sense of tension among the people here, as uncertainty looms about what might transpire next.

Tensions have endured since the fatalities that occurred during the clashes in February.

In July, Doctors Without Borders, a medical charity, announced that it had to cease operations at Las Anod’s general hospital due to repeated assaults on medical facilities and the alarming escalation of violence in Las Anod, which has now exceeded the point where MSF can continue to deliver medical assistance.

As of February 16, the United Nations’ humanitarian affairs office calculated that over 185,000 individuals had been displaced due to the ongoing violence.

Somaliland, a territory with a population of 4.5 million, was once a British protectorate that now produces its own currency, administers its own passports, and conducts independent governmental elections.

Despite its efforts to attain statehood, Somaliland remains unrecognized, resulting in economic challenges and isolation. However, it maintains a relatively stable environment compared to the turmoil of militant insurgency and civil conflict in Somalia.

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