Somaliland President firmly rejects a new administration in SCC areas

Source: Hiiraan Online, Saturday October 14, 2023

Hargeisa (HOL) – Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi has firmly stated that he will not allow the formation of a new administration in the Sool, Sanaag and Ayn, collectively known as (SSC) areas, vowing Somaliland will vigorously defend its territories.

Addressing an economic forum in Hargeisa on Saturday, President Bihi underlined, “If anyone believes that it’s easy to attack Somaliland, those hostile to Somaliland will face the consequences and will not be allowed to encroach upon our land.”

He warned the Puntland administration, accusing it of seeking to acquire Somaliland’s land through tribal means. “Taking the Puntland administration as an example, which is aggressively attempting to expand our territory, we will see whether or not they can succeed in taking our land,” President Bihi asserted.

Last week, Abdikhkhadir Ahmed Aw-Ali Firdhiye, the leader of the SSC-Khatumo administration, declared that his newly formed administration would not participate in the upcoming elections for the Puntland regional state and instead advocated to become a new federal member state.

In response, President of Puntland Said Abdullahi Deni, speaking in Garowe on Friday night, expressed Puntland’s satisfaction with the interests of the SSC region’s residents. He called on Somaliland to avoid further conflict.

On Friday, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Hamse Abdi Barre met with SSC Khatumo leader Abdikhadir Ahmed Firdhiye at the Presidential palace in Mogadishu.

Mr. Firdhiye briefed the leaders on the newly formed administration’s efforts to restore essential services to these areas after eight months of conflict between Somaliland and SSC forces in Las Anod and the surrounding regions. He underlined the vision of the local population in these areas and highlighted the challenges they face due to the war.

Two months ago, the SCC-Khatumo forces expelled the Somaliland army from the SSC-Khatumo areas following eight months of fighting between the two sides. Somaliland President Muse Bihi Abdi, speaking the day after the SCC forces took control of Somaliland’s main base, Gojacade, outside Las Anod, acknowledged that his troops had suffered a significant setback during the eight months of conflict in the vicinity of Las Anod town.