Somalia: Djibouti denies links to mass murders in Las Anod
DJIBOUTI - Hours after sensational claims that Djibouti is directly linked to ongoing skirmishes in Las Anod, the Horn of Africa nation has rejected the accusations, noting that it doesn't not have any conspiracy with the federal republic of Somalia which it terms as a "sisterly" nation.
Social media platforms were awash of claims that Djibouti has been supplying weapons to the regional government of Somaliland, a breakaway region of Somalia which declared self-independence in 1991 following decades of civil war. Somaliland military has been pitching tent in Las Anod for the last three weeks.
Doctors said at least 57 people had been killed as of last week with majority of victims being innocent civilians who have been pushing to break away from Hargeisa in favour of Mogadishu. But Somaliland on the other hand, has vowed to "protect" the region which it insists is part of her territory.
On Monday, Djibouti Minister of Foreign Affairs Mohamoud Ali Youssouf insisted that the country has not been asked for any help by Somaliland in Las Anod, terming news about involvement as "pure lies and propaganda" against the Horn of Africa nation which is "committed" towards regional stability.
"In recent days , there is a shameful propaganda on social media against Djibouti accusing my country of taking part in what is going on in Laas Anood. This is merely fabricated lies to disrupt Djibouti’s relation with its neighbours," he said in a tweet, which elicited sharp reactions on the social media platform.
"Djibouti and its government has always promoted peace in the region and never interfered in any of the internal affairs of our neighbours," he added, arguing that Djibouti will not interfere with internal affairs of neighboring countries unless asked by regional blocs to offer assistance where necessary.
A number of social media users claimed several military armored vehicles packed with military hardwares had crossed over from Djibouti to Somaliland following the " request" by Muse Bihi Abdi, the regional leader of Somaliland. The weapons, they argued, were being dispatched to the Somaliland military based in Las Anod.
Several stakeholders including Amnesty International and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud have been calling for immediate cessation of hostilities in the region while urging warring parties to embrace dialogue. A number of elders from Sool region now want Somaliland military to withdraw and disengage from the region.