Fighting continues in Las Anod, Somalia

Clan elders from Las Anod, Somalia, demand the withdrawal of Somaliland forces from the region before they can accept any dialogue with the administration in Hargeisa. (PHOTO: COURTESY)

Fighting between Somaliland troops and clan fighters has entered its second week in the town of Las Anod, Sool region.

According to witnesses and officials, Somaliland forces are still shelling the town. More than 150 people have died in the fighting, and at least 500 have been injured.

The clans living in Las Anod say they are fighting for political, security, and economic independence from Somaliland.

The UN humanitarian agencies say the clashes in the town have displaced more than 60,000 people.

The conflict began in December, following the death of a popular young politician and activist. 

The Somaliland administration, led by President Muse Bihi and some clan elders, has called for dialogue between Hargeisa and Las Anod clan elders.

The Las Anod community, led by traditional elders, have refused to engage in dialogue with Hargeisa and has demanded that the Somaliland administration withdraw its forces from the region.

Somaliland seized control of the town in 2007 following the withdrawal of forces from the Puntland regional state.