EDITORIAL: The international community’s recent misguided statement on the situation in Las Anod raises several questions about the depth of understanding and the consistent application of principles by these global actors. The international community’s call for an “immediate and unconditional ceasefire” in Las Anod, while seemingly noble in intent, unfortunately demonstrates a detached perception of the ongoing crisis and further perpetuates harmful misconceptions.
Mogadishu, SOMALIA. By the Editorial Team:
Firstly, the term “escalation of conflict” as used in the statement, is profoundly inaccurate. For seven long months, local clans had been subject to incessant shelling from a base that effectively held the city of Las Anod under siege. What occurred recently was not an “escalation” but rather a liberation. Local clans, in a defensive action, managed to capture the base that had been the source of their suffering. To paint this as an escalation is not only erroneous but also grossly insensitive to the civilians who have been living under constant threat.
Understanding the nature of “prisoners”
Secondly, the international partners express deep concern over the reports of large numbers of detainees, urging compliance with human rights and international humanitarian law. It must be pointed out that these so-called “prisoners” are largely responsible for the indescribable anguish inflicted on hundreds of innocent civilians through indiscriminate shellings. It is bewildering how the international community, aware of these atrocities, had previously maintained near silence. Their sudden concern for the perpetrators rather than the victims is glaringly incongruous.
A disconnect in authorship and understanding
The third issue lies in the tone and substance of the international statement. The discourse emanating from these partners seems so disconnected from the ground realities that one might question if the drafters fully apprise themselves of the situation. The language appears to be pieced together by a group alarmingly aloof from the crisis, contributing to a lack of nuance and contextual understanding.
The double standards: Ukraine vs. Las Anod
Fourthly, it is necessary to point out the evident double standards in the international community’s approach to conflict resolution. Many countries involved in issuing this statement are concurrently providing material support to Ukraine in its defensive war against Russia. This inconsistent policy raises questions about the authenticity and integrity of their calls for peace in Las Anod. Why do they support the defensive action in Ukraine while condemning the liberation in Las Anod?
Responsibility to Protect (R2P)
Fifthly, it is pertinent to invoke the principle of the Responsibility to Protect, known as R2P. This principle obliges the international community to protect populations from mass atrocities. Given that the local clans were subject to horrific conditions for seven months, the R2P doctrine actually demands action from international partners to protect the civilians of Sool. Instead, we see a statement lamenting the very actions that have achieved what the international community should have aspired to enable: the protection of endangered civilians.
In conclusion, the international community’s statement on the situation in Las Anod is fraught with inaccuracies, inconsistencies, and glaring omissions. What is required now is not detached diplomacy but a deeply engaged understanding of the complexities on the ground, aligned with consistent application of international norms and principles.