At least 20 Killed in Laascaanood, Somaliland

At least 20 people have been killed in a week of protests in the Somaliland breakaway region of Laascaanood.

The security forces in the town have been battling protestors demanding justice for the killings of civilians and their leaders.

The leadership of the community living in Laascaanood, Sool region, demanded the forces loyal to the Somaliland administration leave the town.

The region has been tense and calls for clan mobilizations have been growing, threatening the peace in the area.

Somaliland president Muse Bihi blamed the security crisis in the town on the administration’s enemies, saying they were trying to create hatred among the people in the region.

The region of Sool and Sanaag is claimed by Puntland, a semi-autonomous region, and Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia.

The communities in the two regions have differing opinions on which administrations to join, with some advocating for the formation of their own federal state under Somalia’s government.

The worsening situation in Laascaanood has caught the eye of the Somali international partners and is calling for calm.

“Preventing violence and ensuring the protection of civilians is paramount. We call for calm and restraint. Tensions must be resolved through de-escalation and dialogue,” said the UN Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) in a statement Sunday.