Las Anod, Sool, Somalia –
Forty-five committee members of the self-proclaimed SSC-Khaatumo administration were sworn into office yesterday in Las Anod, with a mandate to govern Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn (SSC) regions. The committee replaces a former 33-member body formed after weeks of violent protests in the regional capital, Las Anod.
The committee’s primary objective is to liberate the SSC regions from Somaliland forces, making their paramount task predominantly war-related. However, the committee will also be responsible for governing other state affairs. Dr Aden Abdullahi Aw Hassan, a researcher specialising in agricultural economy, has been appointed interim chairman.
The members were selected by regional Garaads and Sultans (traditional leaders) on 6 July. During a gathering organised by the SSC-Khatumo culture council, Las Anod’s Mayor, Deputy Mayor, executive secretary, local councillors, and legal attorneys presented their identification cards to the administration members. The administration’s leadership sworn into office marks the commencement of their duties.
Moreover, the traditional elders of SSC-Khaatumo have approved and ratified a charter that the new administration will adhere to.
This development reflects the people’s aspirations in the SSC regions, expressing their desire for self-governance and the establishment of their own Federal Member State within Somalia. As of now, they have decided to maintain autonomy from the administrations of both Somaliland and Puntland.
MSF quits Las Anod operations
The already dire humanitarian situation in Las Anod will probably further deteriorate. The international relief organisation Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, also known as Doctors Without Borders) announced its decision to suspend operations in the Las Anod General Hospital.
“Recurrent attacks on medical facilities and the level of extreme violence in Las Anod have reached the threshold where MSF is no longer able to provide medical care. The protection and safety of patients, their caretakers, and health workers is no longer guaranteed,” reads the MSF statement.
The conflict for Las Anod
The conflict erupted in the contested city of Las Anod on 6 February of this year. The clashes have involved forces from the self-declared state of Somaliland and local militia affiliated with the Dhulbahante clan. The clan, which resides in the areas of Sool, Sanaag and Ayn (also known as Buuhoodle, especially in Somaliland’s interpretation), historically disputed between Somaliland and Puntland and did not want to contribute to dividing the Somali state. The Dhulbahante claim Las Anod as their capital.