SSC-Khaatumo released six prisoners of war (POWs) from the Awdal region on humanitarian grounds. Ugas Abdirashid Ugas Roble, the Chief Elder of the Awdal region, expressed his gratitude to Garad Jama Garad Ali and the SSC-Khaatumo administration for this meaningful humanitarian gesture. In a video message, Ugas Abdirashid Ugas Roble conveyed his appreciation and extended his wishes for peace and prosperity in the region.
Addis Ababa, ETHIOPIA; Las Anod, Sool region, SSC, SOMALIA.
The video message, which surfaced yesterday, captured Ugas Abdirashid Ugas Roble’s sincere gratitude towards Garad Jama Garad Ali for fulfilling their discussion about releasing the prisoners. SSC-Khaatumo forces captured these and many other POWs during eight months of defending against the aggression by Somaliland forces. The defensive efforts culminated on 25 August when the local forces overran several military installations of the Somaliland army near Las Anod. The SSC forces arrested at least 300 POWs, including a well-known commander, Faisal Abdi Botan.
Ugas Abdirashid Ugas Roble expressed his heartfelt thanks, saying, “I want to send a message of gratitude here. I say to Garad Jama, thank you very much. You fulfilled our discussion about the release of the prisoners. God bless you, and I request you release the rest.” The last sentence refers to other soldiers of the Somaliland army, originally coming from the Awdal region, whom the SSC forces captured and detained in Las Anod during the 8-month long conflict.
Reference to USP
Furthermore, Ugas Abdirashid Ugas Roble identified Awdal region’s participation in the former United Somali Party (USP), which had brought together today’s SSC-Khaatumo and Awdal. Before 1960, the party comprised the people of Awdal, Sool, Sanaag, and Ayn regions. In conclusion, the traditional leader extended his wishes to SSC-Khaatumo. “I wish SSC-Khaatumo well and peace; may God guide them.”
The release of the six prisoners from the Awdal region by the SSC-Khaatumo administration marks a significant step towards fostering stability and reconciliation in the region. Ugas Abdirashid Ugas Roble’s appreciation for this action highlights the positive impact it has had on the affected individuals and their communities. Their release is an encouraging development, contributing to the ongoing efforts for peace and unity in Northern Somalia after the eight months of war in the Sool region.
SSC’s earlier releases
This was not the first remarkable gesture of generosity from the Las Anod administration. In a commendable display of humanity and adherence to international norms, the SSC-Khaatumo administration announced in mid-September the release of two Somaliland’s POWs whom the SSC forces captured during the battle at Gooja’adde.
“SSC-Khaatumo administration informs all interested parties that we are releasing two detainees captured on August 25 during the war between SSC forces and the Somaliland militias. The two detainees are critically injured, and we have agreed to hand them over to the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) on humanitarian grounds, ensuring they get the best care available,” said a statement the administration issued in September.
The administration further emphasised its commitment to treating prisoners of war in full compliance with international humanitarian law and Somali customs. The current release of Awdal prisoners on humanitarian grounds reaffirms this generous stance.