Mogadishu elders hold undisclosed talks in Somaliland, return to Mogadishu after three months

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A delegation of traditional elders from Mogadishu, who had been in Hargeisa for three months to mediate between the Somaliland government and the traditional elders of the SCC-Khatumo faction, returned to Mogadishu on Saturday.

During their time in Somaliland, the elders refrained from speaking to the media. They held undisclosed meetings with the traditional elders of Somaliland to address the conflict in the town of Las Anod.

The federal government’s delegation of elders sent to Hargeisa failed in their mission to resolve the conflict. Before Hargeisa, the elders visited Las Anod. They are expected to report their findings to the international community and the government of Somalia.

A week ago, the Interior Minister of Somaliland, Mohamed Kahin Ahmed, acknowledged for the first time that the federal government was not involved in the dispute in Las Anod. He attributed responsibility for the conflict in Las Anod to the Puntland administration.

On Tuesday, the traditional clan chief of the Dhulbahante and leader of the 33-member SSC traditional council, Garad Jama Garad Ali, accused the Somali government of covertly supporting Somaliland’s military campaign against the SSC militia in Las Anod. He claimed that the Somali government was obstructing international efforts to impose sanctions on Somaliland.

The World Health Organization (WHO) condemned the recent attack on a health facility in the disputed city of Las Anod in Somaliland. The attack resulted in the loss of lives, including healthcare workers and patients, as well as the destruction of two ambulances. The WHO representative for Somalia, Mamunur Rahman Malik, expressed concern about the devastating consequences of such attacks on healthcare systems that are already fragile.

According to the WHO, this is the fifth time that the facility has been hit since the violence in Las Anod erupted last year.

In response to the WHO’s statement, the Somaliland government strongly asserted that they had made significant efforts to protect human lives and civilian infrastructure, including hospitals and healthcare facilities.

Last April, Last week, Amnesty International released a report indicating that Somaliland security forces indiscriminately shelled the town, causing damage to hospitals, schools, and mosques. Witnesses have reported extensive damage to hundreds of civilian structures, including homes, mosques, schools, and a hospital, allegedly caused by Somaliland forces firing rockets from military bases on the city’s eastern side in their attempt to capture the town.