Amid escalating tensions between Somaliland and SSC-Khaatumo administrations, a prominent Somaliland politician, Mohamoud Hashi Abdi, has revealed that Muse Bihi ignored his peace advice about Las Anod. Hashi disclosed that he had visited President Bihi after receiving an invitation but was unable to sway the leader’s stance.
Hargeisa, Somaliland, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
During a recent address, the former Minister of Civil Aviation and Air Transport of Somaliland and a former Minister of Presidency described his alleged pro-peace advice to Muse Bihi. According to him, in the early stage of the conflict, he recommended withdrawing forces from Las Anod’s vicinity, facilitating the return of displaced persons who were forced to flee, and avoiding causing destruction to the city.
“I opposed the killing and the bullets. I said [to the President] that we can’t solve or control the situation of Las Anod by force and bullets. We can solve it with wisdom and skills. While the war was going on, President Muse Bihi called me for advice, asking me about the issues during the first month of the war,” Hashi stated.
According to his own words, the former Minister viewed providing his advice as a matter of national interest and a means to prevent a prolonged conflict. However, his counsel, allegedly along with the advice of others, did not find resonance with President Bihi.
Earlier hawkish approach
Mr Hashi’s remarks surprised many, given his previous hawkish stance on the Las Anod conflict. Therefore, his current pro-peace remarks should be analysed rather critically. It is unclear precisely what lies behind them or how seriously Mr Hashi means them.
The position of Somaliland’s President Muse Bihi seems to be weak. He has faced criticism from the entire political spectre in Somaliland. Hardliners criticise him for not enough resolute action against the SSC ‘rebellion’, while others criticise him for waging unnecessary war and killing innocent people.
The unfolding situation in Las Anod has raised concerns about the prospects for peace. While the SSC-Khaatumo administration has expressed readiness for peace talks, doubts about Somaliland’s commitment persist. Reports indicate that Somaliland has been amassing troops in towns bordering SSC regions, such as Oog and Yeyle, further fueling apprehensions about the region’s stability.