Lasanod-(Puntland Mirror) On 28 May 2018 a peaceful demonstration in Lasanod town turned into violence when Somaliland authorities responded with the use of disproportionate atrocious force and live ammunition against the civilian demonstrators.
Large crowds of people marched in the streets of Lasanod town, Sool region, to protest against the fighting in Tukaraq area and the occupation of Sool region by Somaliland. The demonstration has drawn hundreds of people from indigenous people in Sool region who had endured years of oppression and persecution in the hands of Somaliland forces. They were demanding the withdrawal of Somaliland forces from Sool region.
Puntland Mirror sources in Lasanod confirm that at least two people were killed and eight others were injured in the attack. More than 64 people have been detained and transferred to prisons outside of Sool region, many of them women and children. One of the two people shot dead was named Ms Ambaro Said. It has also been reported that the mayor of Sool region, Mr Abdi Khayre Dirir, has ordered the indiscriminate and cold blooded open fire attack on the protestors.
Eyewitnesses, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told Puntland Mirror that Somaliland authorities had used the elite RRU forces, trained and bankrolled by the United Kingdom, to carry out this murderous assault on the civilians in Lasanod town and surrounding areas. This allegation raises questions of how much the British government knows about the use of these forces which, if it is true, could implicate the United Kingdom in Somalia’s tribal conflict and does not endear their participation in the international community’s efforts to find peaceful solution to the armed conflict in Sool region.
It is also alleged that the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General, Michael Keating – a fellow Briton – has not shown strong leadership and firm impartial arbitration in this conflict. In his report to the Security Council, he failed to spell out that Somaliland’s aggression against Puntland in Tukaraq area was the primary flashpoint of this new armed clashes in the region.
Many people in Puntland have expressed their shock of the deadly attack on civilians in Lasanod. They demand a swift independent investigation into these brutal attacks on peaceful civilians and the blatant violation of universal human rights of the people in Sool region.