Government of Somaliland Expresses Concern Over Security Council Statement on the Las Anod Situation

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On Wednesday, the UN Security Council issued what to Somaliland was tantamount to a free gift of its territories to Somalia as it was an endorsement of the latter’s forces – some of who already fighting in the Las Anod area – to enter the battle for supremacy in Sool with the full blessing of the international community through the UN organization. The 32-year-old unrecognized Republic of Somaliland was far from pleased with the attitude.

The government of the Republic of Somaliland has, today, expressed concern over a statement the United Nations’ Security Council issued on the Las Anod situation Wednesday, calling it a product of  misinformation ‘about the facts on the ground’.

“The Government of the Republic of Somaliland welcomes the statement from the UN Security Council on the cessation of hostilities, on creating conditions for peace, unhindered provisions of humanitarian assistance and stabilization of the situation in Las Anod.  However, we also wish to express our concern that UNSC appears to be misinformed about the facts on the ground. On the 26th of February 2023,  Somaliland forces withdrew from Las Anod and since then have maintained a static defensive position outside the city of Las Anod. The Somaliland Security forces have rigorously avoided civilian casualties, only firing to maintain their defensive positions against the militia forces”, the Ministry of Somaliland’s Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation statement said.

The statement went on to repeat assertions that Somaliland was, in fact, not only fighting insurgents that threatened its unity but, also, extremist elements that existentially threatened it and the whole region.

“he government of Somaliland is concerned by the Security Council’s failure to acknowledge the rapidly expanding presence of Al Shabab in Las Anod and Sool region of Somaliland. This poses a threat not only to Somaliland but also to our neighbors, Somalia, Ethiopia, and Djibouti as well as the entire region. In our letter to the UN Secretary General, dated 12th of April 2023 we informed him of the growing threat of Al Shabab in Las Anod and Sool region. No single state can contain this threat and the Government of Somaliland therefore appeals to the members of the UN Security Council to provide their attention and support in addressing this growing threat,” the statement added.

The statement quickly went over steps that the government of Somaliland has taken to contain the situation and avoid full-out military engagement with invading Somalia armed units, largely coming from the neighboring Puntland Federal State of Somalia and the Somali State of Ethiopia, to avoid massive civilian casualties, which the UN statement neither acknowledged nor even even fleetingly mentioned. The government reminded the UNSC, too, that access to humanitarian supplies was a top priority in its approach and that it has delivered such supplies to areas where residents of the beleaguered town fled long before any of the international organizations reached it.

“Our government has called for dialogue throughout this conflict, unfortunately, these calls have not been accepted by Las’anod clan leaders. Throughout this conflict, Somaliland has provided access to international organizations to deliver humanitarian aid to our people in Las Anod and has facilitated the delivery of medical supplies. The government has continuously provided food, water, and medical supplies to the displaced in areas outside of Las’anod,” the government stated.

The MFA statement, obviously, thrown off by the UNSC referring to the 32-year-old de facto Republic of Somaliland as ‘Northern Somalia’ only putting its name in between perenthesis when it had to mention it, was quick to point out where the Security Council widely veered off from accepted norms and legal instruments it, otherwise, respected and promoted when it did not concern Somaliland.

“The Somaliland forces in Sool region are protecting the people, sovereignty, and territory of the Republic of Somaliland within our recognized borders at the time of independence. Our international borders are in conformity with article 4 of African Union Constitutive Act which the United Nation recognizes,” the MFA stated.

The UN statement, it appears, only encouraged the traditional leaders who started the armed engagement against the Somaliland they helped found, many of whom are currently courting Villa Somalia, to redouble their attacks on army positions, gloating over what they thought was a resounding political and military success over Somaliland.

“We will give seven days to Somaliland forces to withdraw from our areas. We promise we will not shoot them on the back during the retreat,” Garaad Jama Garaad Ismail leading the Sool delegation visiting Mogadishu said, unable to conceal the leering pleasure he felt over the unequivocal, undivided support the security Council’s  words – ‘members of the Security Council called for the immediate withdrawal of “Somaliland” security force’ – lent what they maintained as a just cause to form a clan state inside the Somaliland republic.

 

Many in Somaliland quickly pointed out that nothing was to be welcomed in the UN statement, as the MFA statement began with,  about the UNSC statement deeming it a blatant invasion against the wishes of Somaliland nationals as it was a thoughtless abrogation of the exemplary track record Somaliland achieved in state-forming, peace-building, democracy and fight against extremist acting as a shield for neighbor countries in the Horn of Africa.

Among the much-angered leaders and nationals was the leader of one of Somaliland’s two opposition parties, Faisal A;li Waraabe.

The Honorable Mohamed Hussein Jama, one of Somaliland’s most brilliant younger generation MPs, was another.

Another national, amused by the gross ignorance and/or misinformation the UNSC statement laid bare, chided:

The UNSC statement comes at a time a growing number of politicians both in Europe and the United States are openly advocating for a well desreved diplomatic recognition of the fledgling republic.

The Somaliland Republic’s Foreign Affairs statement, however, was not as forceful and as biting as the UNSC’s.

What was more dismaying than this to many Somalilanders was the fact that the United Arab Emirates that, of late, invested heavily in Somaliland, was leading the charge at the UNSC, taking everybody by surprise.

The current membership of the UN Security Council, besides the five permanent members, namely, China, France, Russian Federation, the United Kingdom, and the United State. included Albania, Brazil, Ecuador, Gabon, Ghana, Japan, Malta, Mozambique, Switzerland, and the United Arab Emirates.

THE FULL UNSC STATEMENT, BELOW,  IS AS WAS PRINTED ON https://press.un.org/en/2023/sc15313.doc.htm (Not including the picture), read.

Security Council Press Statement on Situation in Somalia

Security Council Press Statement on Somalia - Horseed Media

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Lana Zaki Nusseibeh (United Arab Emirates):

The members of the Security Council reaffirmed their full respect for the sovereignty, territorial integrity, political independence and unity of Somalia.

The members of the Security Council expressed concern about the ongoing violence in Laascaanood, situated in the Sool region of Northern Somalia, which has led to a large number of civilian casualties and the displacement of more than 150,000 people.  They expressed their deep sympathy and condolences to the families of the victims and wished a full and speedy recovery to those injured.

The members of the Security Council welcomed efforts and initiatives by the Federal Government of Somalia, Ethiopia and clan elders to secure a ceasefire and promote inclusive, Somali-owned national dialogue.  They called on all parties to reach a ceasefire agreement urgently and encouraged inclusive dialogue and peaceful dispute resolution and called on the United Nations Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) to provide further support in accordance with its mandate, including through engaging with all parties where necessary.

The members of the Security Council expressed deep concern about the loss of life and injuries sustained in Laascaanood, in December 2022, when protests were quelled by “Somaliland” security forces, as reported in the Secretary-General’s report of 16 February 2023 (document S/2023/109).  They condemned the violent clashes between “Somaliland” security forces and clan militia.  They condemned all acts of violence against civilians and condemned in the strongest terms the civilian casualties and damage to civilian infrastructure caused by the conflict.

The members of the Security Council called for the immediate withdrawal of “Somaliland” security forces and called on all parties to exercise restraint and to refrain from provocative actions, incitement to violence and inflammatory rhetoric in order to de-escalate the situation on the ground, rebuild trust and to create the conditions for peace.

The members of the Security Council reminded all parties of their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law, as applicable.  They urged all parties to hold accountable those responsible for violations of international humanitarian law and violations and abuses of human rights.

The members of the Security Council expressed concern about the impact of the violence on the humanitarian situation in Laascaanood and the Sool region, compounding the displacement and hardship caused by the drought in 2022.  They called on all parties to allow and facilitate, in accordance with relevant provisions of international law, including applicable international humanitarian law, and in a manner consistent with the United Nations guiding principles of humanitarian emergency assistance (United Nations General Assembly resolution 46/182), including humanity, neutrality, impartiality and independence, the rapid and unhindered provision of humanitarian assistance.

The members of the Security Council called on all donors to scale-up humanitarian assistance to ensure the provision of humanitarian aid and essential assistance.  They called on all parties to permit access for explosive ordnance disposal teams to assist with the removal of explosive remnants.

 

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