We shall retake Las Anod, Somaliland military says

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HARGEISA, Somalia - Somaliland regional military leadership insists it shall retake the city of Las Anod, and the larger Sanaag and Sool regions, which fall under the SSC-Khatumo leadership, a movement fighting to be governed from Mogadishu.

Last year, the Somaliland military lost Las Anod to SSC-Khatumo forces, who allegedly had a strong backing of Puntland regional forces, with claims of the Somali National Army (SNA) participating in the ouster mentioned during the conflict.

Somaliland, which claims to be independent from Somalia, has since retreated to plot a comeback and has now vowed to retake the Sool region. The two regions are the genesis of the conflict with Puntland state.

Nuh Ismail Tani, the commander of the Somaliland forces, insists his troops are preparing for a major assault, aiming at taking over the two regions. SSC-Khatumo forces declared victory sometime last year after months of fireworks.

"Our army, which sacrifices their lives for our country, retains its strength and resilience," Tani told government media. He assured the people of Somaliland that the military is approaching a critical juncture in its efforts to recapture lost territories.

So far, SSC-Khatumo has established an independent administration, cutting ties with Hargeisa, which has been in control for a while. The interim administration was recognized by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, the leader of Somalia.

SSC-Khatumo has traditionally wanted to expand its administration across Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn regions which are also claimed by Puntland and plans are in place to establish a new federal state in the Horn of Africa nation. Somalia has six states.

Somaliland continues to assert its claim over the Sool region, stepping up troop training to counter the recent military defeats. The international community maintains that Somaliland remains part of Somalia’s territorial integrity, despite the push for a sovereign country.

GAROWE ONLINE

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