Hassan Sheikh: Somaliland is part of Somalia, we don't support secession


MOGADISHU, Somalia - Somaliland's quest to push for international recognition suffered yet another blow on Friday, with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud standing his ground while maintaining that the region remains part of Somalia, a country which has been struggling with instability for three decades.

The Somaliland state declared self-independence from Somalia in 1991 and has been smoothly running a parallel government in Hargeisa, with a functional executive, legislature, judiciary and even a Central Bank. However, the region has struggled to attain international recognition.

At a prayer service in the capital Mogadishu, Hassan Sheikh maintained his administration will not tolerate secession ideologies being pushed by the government of Somaliland, adding that he will however, not bring the region to his administration by use of force even though he has the full mandate.

The president sympathized with the people of Las Anod who have been fighting to join tht federal government of Somalia but in return, they have been subjected to torture and execution being perpetrated by Somaliland military, who have refused to withdraw and disengage from the town.

"Somaliland is a part of Somalia,we don't agree with secession idea, we don't want to bring you back by force, we want peace. In the same way, you have to deal with the people of LasAnod who want the unity of the country, "said Hassan Sheikh Mohamud during his Friday prayer speech.

Over 60 people have been killed in the last two months with the worst cleansing coming last week when over 20 people were killed. Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has been calling for an amicable solution to the current conflict, which was triggered by the assassination of a youthful politician from Las Anod.

While both parties have agreed to embrace a ceasefire, there is still tension in the northern state with the military manning most parts. The government of Somalia has given little input to the conflict despite concerns from members of the international community who have called for immediate dialogue.

After a nearly two-week battle, Somaliland army chief Gen Taani said they're fighting Al-Shabaab and Puntland in Las Anod city, a claim disputed by Garowe. SSC elders rejected such claims by the breakaway region in last as a pretext" for invading the city which lies in contested Sool region.


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