Conflict Background

Get to know how this conflict all started

The Genesis

At the end of December 2022, a young politician was assassinated in Las Anood by Somaliland Military occupying the city. This was the most recent targeted killing in a long series of similar attacks, which had not been prevented or at least followed up by the Federal Republic of Somalia whose Constitution is mandated to protect all Citizens of the Federal Republic of Somalia. The feeling of insecurity and the frustration of many town dwellers with Somaliland officials (Isaaq by clan) motivated civilians to stage demonstrations in late December 2022, triggered by the most recent assassination of Abdifatah “Hadraawi”. In reaction, many civilians waved the “blue flag” of the Federal Republic of Somalia in town (and on social media) to demonstrate their support for a united Somalia against the secession that formed the Enclave of Somaliland (unilaterally declared in 1991). This provoked angry political reactions from Somaliland enclave authorities, who reiterated that Las Anood is part of Somaliland, demonstrations continued for several days. The situation became chaotic when youngsters were throwing stones at Somaliland forces occupying the town. On several occasions, the soldiers opened fire, Killing 10-15 people and injuring many more (mostly young men and women). On Wednesday 3 January 2023, a local trader was shot by Somaliland forces patrolling the town.
On 30 January, Mr.Muse Bihi’s, a leader of the secessionist Somaliland enclave widely Broadcasted speech before the government blamed “terrorists” for the unrest in Las Anood. This was received with contempt by the traditional leaders in Las Anood. They blamed the occupying Somaliland enclave administration for the insecurity in town. For them, the reference to terrorists, which clearly hints at Al Shabaab, is a strategy to discredit the political movement among SSC people rejecting Somaliland’s secessionist ideology and balkanization of Somalia. Meanwhile, Somaliland supporters in their public statements try to present what is currently happening in Las Anood (and some other places in SSC) as irrelevant, as an expression of a minority-position or as an upheaval produced by foreign or terrorist elements. Yet, against the backdrop of the long history of the majority of SSC people rejecting Somaliland’s enclave seccesion, the “blue revolution” (i.e., waving the flag of Somalia) is more credible than Somalilanders wish to accept.


Somaliland enclave Army aggression have resulted in the lasting disruption of relations between SSC-Khatumo indigenous people of Somalia and the Secessionist Somaliland enclave. It is hard to imagine how, after many more casualties, a relationship of trust and cooperation could be established between the two sides again. It is to be noted that the aggression of the Somaliland Military was a planned “ethnic/clan-cleansing.
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