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Somaliland: Official Visit In Las Anod
Las Anod, Somaliland, August 4, 2007 – A delegation of Somaliland officials have been welcomed on an official visit to the eastern town of Las Anod, announcing intentions to assist with development projects.
Below are extracts from an article published by Garowe Online:
A delegation from Somaliland arrived in the provincial town of Las Anod last Saturday [28 July 2007], the first such visit to the region since 2003.
The Somaliland delegation included ministers and parliamentarians and were received in Las Anod by local elders, politicians and former Puntland officials, local sources said.
Bashi Mohamud Farah, second deputy Speaker of Somaliland's House of Representatives, told local press that the unannounced visit to the region is part the Somaliland administration's efforts to bring development initiatives to Las Anod.
Deputy Speaker Farah's delegation, which included Justice Minister Ahmed Hassan Ali, met with local leaders in Las Anod.
It was unclear if the Somaliland delegation met with Ahmed Abdi Habsade, the former Puntland security minister who was sacked earlier this month [July 2007].
Delegation members told reporters that they plan to regularly conduct government affairs in Las Anod, noting that Puntland soldiers who used to stand in their way are no longer there.
Somaliland, unilaterally declared independence in 1991 but has not gained recognition since.
The region claims ownership of Sool and Sanaag regions under colonial-era boundaries, but neighboring semi-autonomous Puntland administration forcefully evicted Somaliland officials from Las Anod in late 2002.
Officials in the Puntland capital, Garowe, said Puntland troops in the Las Anod area were redeployed to other regions, including the Somali capital Mogadishu. Others had simply left their barracks due to nonpayment, the same source said.
The two sub-regions fought bloody wars several times along their unofficial border, including a single-day battle in Sanaag region three months ago.
Source: Garowe Online