Somaliland Army Captures and Exposes High-Ranking Somalian Soldiers Involved in Las Anod Conflict
High-Profile Captives and Casualties Emerge from Intense Sool Region Skirmish
More information continues to emerge from yesterday's intense battle in Sool region, with the Somaliland Army capturing and killing several high-ranking Somalian soldiers during the skirmish in Las Anod. Among those captured is Col. Mohamud Mohamed Aarsade, a prominent military officer from the Ali Saleebaan/Majeerten clan. Aarsade is best known for his role in the 2006 Battle for Mogadishu during President Abdullahi Yusuf's tenure. Col. Aarsade is also well known for reportedly committing war crimes against the civilian population of Mogadishu in 2006. He fled Mogadishu after President Abdullahi Yusuf’s tenure as President of Somalia came to an end in late 2008.
Reports suggest that many of the fighters involved in the Las Anod conflict hail from Somalia, Kenya, and Ethiopia, with the majority belonging to the Darood clan, which holds a significant demographic presence in Las Anod. These fighters have reportedly been lured to join the battle under the guise of supporting a clan rebellion, coming from locations such as Kismayo, Wajir, Dhagahbur, Abudwaq, Goldogob, Galkayo, Garowe, and Qardho.
Among the notable casualties in the recent battle are US-trained Commando Mohamed Adam Suleiman, also known as 'Haybe Shire,' and Col. Abdullahi Ahmed Samakab 'Shaarub.'
Haybe Shire, a highly respected soldier and Commander of the 4th battalion of the US-trained Somalia Danab Brigade, was considered the equivalent of 100 soldiers fighting against the Somaliland Army. His death has significantly impacted the morale of rebels in Las Anod. Col. Abdullahi Ahmed Samakab 'Shaarub' was infamous for his role in the genocide campaign against Somaliland in the 1980s under Dictator Siad Barre and was a senior member of the forces fighting against The Somaliland Army. He was killed in a fierce battle with Somaliland armed forces yesterday.
US-trained Commando Mohamed Adam Suleiman ‘Haybe Shire’. A young, talented soldier who had his whole future ahead of him - and died for nothing.
Unverified reports circulating on social media indicate a high death toll for Dhulbahante clan rebels and soldiers affiliated with Somalia's Puntland region following yesterday's battle.
The Las Anod conflict began with a rebellion by the Dhulbahante clan, who sought to challenge Somaliland's authority in Las Anod. As the conflict escalated, various armed groups and militias, led by the Puntland Regional Administration of Somalia, launched surprise attacks on Somaliland military positions and were constantly defeated every time. The situation has been further complicated by the infiltration of terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Shabab, who have taken advantage of the volatile situation to establish a foothold in the area. It’s also worth mentioning that Somaliland has repeatedly called for an unconditional ceasefire and continues to abide it. The Dhulbahante clan rebels have rejected calls for a ceasefire and pledge to keep fighting.
As highlighted in our previous article, "Somaliland's Oil Find: A Wake Up Call for US Foreign Policy", the discovery of oil in Somaliland has sparked this conflict and attracted the attention of foreign actors seeking control over these valuable resources. Their involvement has escalated tensions in the region and poses a direct challenge to US and Taiwanese interests in Somaliland. The ongoing conflict and the presence of external forces threaten to undermine the stability and security of Somaliland and the wider Horn of Africa.
The Somaliland Journal will continue to monitor the situation closely and provide updates as more information becomes available. The recent events in Las Anod underscore the ongoing challenges faced by the Somaliland government in its efforts to maintain stability and security in the region.