Somaliland Military Vows to Reclaim Sool Region from Puntland-Backed Forces

Somaliland's military vows to launch a counter-attack to reclaim the contested Sool region from Puntland-backed forces. The move follows Somaliland's defeat in August 2023, which led to civilian displacement and heightened tensions between the two entities.

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Bijay Laxmi
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Somaliland Military Vows to Reclaim Sool Region from Puntland-Backed Forces

Somaliland Military Vows to Reclaim Sool Region from Puntland-Backed Forces

The Somaliland military has vowed to launch a counter-attack to reclaim the contested Sool region, including the strategic town of Lasanod, from local forces supported by the neighboring Puntland state. The move comes after Somaliland suffered a defeat in the region in August 2023, leading to the displacement of civilians and heightened tensions between the two entities.

Why this matters: The conflict over the Sool region has significant implications for regional stability and security, as it involves two entities with competing claims to sovereignty and territorial control. A renewed outbreak of violence could further destabilize the Horn of Africa, potentially drawing in other regional powers and threatening humanitarian crises.

The Sool region has long been a flashpoint in the broader dispute between Somaliland, which seeks international recognition as a sovereign state, and Puntland, a federal state within Somalia. The conflict over territorial control has led to periodic clashes and instability in the area, with both sides claiming historical and cultural ties to the region.

In the aftermath of the August 2023 setback, Somaliland's military has been preparing for a decisive operation to reassert control over Lasanod and the surrounding areas. The planned offensive aims to dislodge the Puntland-aligned forces and restore Somaliland's authority in the region, which it considers an integral part of its territory.

The escalating tensions have drawn international attention, with the Somali Ambassador to the UN, H.E. Mr. Abukar Dahir Osman, addressing the UN Security Council on October 19, 2023. In his remarks, Ambassador Osman discussed the ongoing arms embargo and the situation in SSC-Khaatumo, a self-declared autonomous state that has accused Somaliland of launching attacks on its territories.

As the Somaliland military prepares for the counter-offensive, concerns have been raised about the potential for further displacement and humanitarian consequences in the region. The international community has called for restraint and dialogue to resolve the long-standing dispute between Somaliland and Puntland peacefully. However, with both sides determined to assert their claims over the Sool region, the prospect of renewed conflict looms large, threatening to destabilize the already fragile region.

Key Takeaways

  • Somaliland military vows to reclaim Sool region from Puntland-backed forces.
  • Conflict has significant implications for regional stability and security.
  • Sool region is a flashpoint in Somaliland-Puntland dispute over sovereignty.
  • Somaliland prepares for counter-offensive to reassert control over Lasanod.
  • International community calls for restraint and dialogue to resolve dispute peacefully.