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Somaliland Takes Control Of Las Anod

Issue 300
Front Page

Duale: “We’ll Take Pre-emptive Strike”

Somaliland Takes Control Of Las Anod

Haatuf Media Chairman Meets Lord Avebury In London

Media Executive of Prominent Radio Station Assassinated in Mogadishu

Somalia 'investigates' WFP head

Expert: Ethiopia's Invasion Of Somalia 'A Disastrous Miscalculation'

Mass Murder in the Horn of Africa

Who Is Behind The Campaign To Smear The Reputation Of SHURO-Net, And Why?

University Of SA On Somaliland In Ohio And Havana!!

Only fearful officials resign: Somalia PM

Islamist leader denies having links with Somaliland-Puntland fighting

Regional Affairs

Puntland Calls For Intervention In Regional Fighting

CPJ Condemns Assassination Of Prominent Somali Journalist

Special Report

International News

Cheney increases U.S. oratory against Iran

Somalis’ Struggle In The UK

Somali Writer Added To 'Most Wanted' List In Minneapolis

Two plead guilty in slaying of teen who escaped war-torn Somalia


The Ogaden Crisis And Its Implications Within The Horn Of Africa Region

3 Top Govt. Officials Urgently Called in Addis Ababa

The Ethiopian Jewish community discovered by Scottish explorer

Can African Wildlife And Forest Be Protected?

Worldwide Press Freedom Index 2007 - Eritrea Ranked Last For First Time While G8 Members, Except Russia, Recover Lost Ground

Taiwan is already a `normal country'


Eyes Wide Shut

Iranian-Born German Striker Refuses To Play In Israel

Food for thought


A letter of appeal for cessation of hostilities to the leaders of Somaliland and Puntland

How Puntland Administration Has Become A Rudderless Ship In Sool

Recover After Heart Surgery

All Las-Anoders Are Winners

The Theories And Realities Of Kulmiye!!

Somalilanders Refute The Claims From Puntland

A Job Well Done For President Rayale But What Is Next?

Complaint About Your Editorial

Las Anod town

Las Anod, 20 October 2007 (SL Times) – Heavy fighting broke out in the early hours of Monday morning between Somaliland and Puntland’s forces in Las Anod, Sool region. This is the second time, in less than six weeks that the two sides have clashed in Las Anod.

More than 20 people were reported dead, and 30-40 wounded, in this latest escalation of hostilities between Somaliland Republic and Puntland. S/land and P/land have been virtually in a state of war, ever since P/land's invasion of Las Anod in 2002.

Most of the dead and wounded were combatants belonging to the two sides. One civilian, taking part in a demonstration against S/land forces taking control of the town was reported killed as S/land militia tried to disperse and control the angry crowds that burnt tires and vandalised business outlets belonging to S/land companies. Communication equipment belonging to S/land’s largest telephone service provider ‘Telesom’ was said to have been destroyed by the retreating forces of P/land.

A press statement released by S/land’s ministry of information on Monday said: “This morning (Monday) at 5:45 AM, Puntland forces mounted a three-pronged assault on Las Anod and its vicinity, coming from Las Anod’s east, west and south directions, Puntland forces attacked three different positions held by S/land’ regular army and the pro-S/land local clan militia in and outside the town. The pro-S/land local clan militia and the regular army thwarted the attackers with devastating results and inflicted large number of causalities. 13 gun mounted vehicles were captured from the enemy during the battle and many combatants were taken prisoners.”

The ministry’s statement went on to say that “the regular S/land army has advanced 37km east of Las Anod and has taken a defensive position to counter more of Majeerteenya's (P/land’s previous name before and during colonial rule) blind aggression against S/land population in Las Anod”.

Meanwhile, S/land authorities in Las Anod have re-occupied the regional offices and government buildings abandoned by P/land in Las Anod.

On Thursday, speaking to SL Times on the telephone, the former P/land minister of Interior and Security, Ahmed Abdi Habsade, one of the leading figures in Las Anod who spearheaded the downfall of P/land’s presence in Las Anod said: “the town is calm and things are much quieter now. The matter between Hargeysa and Garowe is a concluded issue. The enemy is not a threat any more. They [P/land] are back in their town [Garowe, capital of Puntland, 127km east of Las Anod), and don’t pose a threat. There are some small and poorly armed militias allied to P/land in the countryside towards Garowe, but they are insignificant. We are presently busy talking with the town’s elders and traditional leaders. We have a message to spread to the people of the town. We don’t want Las Anod to become what has become of Somalia’s towns. We want peace to prevail. With the town’s residents and elders we have established various committees that will be temporarily acting as the town’s local authority.”

Habsade was asked: ‘Are Somaliland’s regular army and the allied local clan militia present in the town?’ The ex-minister replied, “the national S/land army is not inside the town but is located at the town’s outskirts (12km). Only the local clan militia which kicked out Puntland’s forces with the regular S/land forces, on Monday’s battle, are the ones present inside the town. The regular S/land army have taken the commendable decision not to be present inside the town, which would only add fear and enmity in some of the town's residents".

Regarding Somaliland’s armed forces, Habsade said: “I was impressed by how much Somaliland’s army has improved, the discipline of its soldiers, in its general conduct, and in battle. It surely has come a long way since I was in Hargeysa, ten years ago. The army back then was just a collection of various clan militias who were badly lacking in discipline and order. This is an incredible achievement, and a development to be quite proud of, by all means.”

In the 1990s, Habsade once held the post of Somaliland’s speaker of parliament prior to falling out with the late president Egal. In 1997, he was ousted from the speaker’s chair through a vote of no confidence in parliament. Habsade made his way to Garowe after being invited to take part in a reconciliation conference in Garowe. From this conference emerged Puntland.

Source: Somaliland Times

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