Hargeisa (Allbanaadir Media) – The United States has called for an immediate and unconditional ceasefire in the northern town of LasAnod in Somalia after a delegation led by Chargé d’Affaires Tim Trenkle arrived in the Somaliland capital of Hargeisa.
The delegation held a series of political and civil society discussions, where they met with Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi to discuss the violence in LasAnod.
The United States embassy in Somalia released a statement saying, “The United States joins the international community in calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access.”
The situation in LasAnod, Somalia
The fighting in LasAnod has been ongoing for the past three weeks, resulting in over 100 deaths, including women and children, according to the director of the main hospital in the contested town of Las Anod.
Ahmed Mohamed Hassan stated on Thursday that the hospital had received 560 wounded individuals as well.
However, a senior clan chief, Garaad Jama Garaad Ali, claimed on Wednesday that the death toll was higher, with 150 people killed and 500 wounded.
The situation remains volatile, and the number of casualties is expected to rise if the conflict persists.
The violence started after a group of traditional leaders declared that they would no longer recognize the Somaliland government and declared the territory of the Sool and Sanaag region to be ruled by Mogadishu.
The call for a ceasefire
The United States embassy in Somalia released a statement calling for an immediate, unconditional ceasefire and unhindered humanitarian access.
The Bureau of African Affairs of the US State Department has also condemned the continued indiscriminate attacks that have killed scores of civilians in LasAnod and driven more than 185,000 people from their homes.
“The United States condemns the continued indiscriminate attacks that have killed scores of civilians in LasAnod and driven more than 185,000 people from their homes. The violence must end, and those responsible must be held accountable,” it tweeted.
Calls for investigation
The fighting in LasAnod has uprooted more than 185,000 people from their homes, with aid workers struggling to respond to the situation due to inadequate resources.
Women and children accounted for an estimated 89 percent of the displaced population, seeking shelter under trees or inside schools, which have been forced to shut.
More than 60,000 others have fled to Ethiopia’s Somali region to escape the violence, according to the UN’s refugee agency.
UN rights chief Volker Turk this month called on authorities to conduct a “credible and impartial investigation” into the clashes and warned that they compounded the already fragile humanitarian situation in the region.