As we move into day 6 of 12 hours of non stop shelling every day, so far this strategic north eastern city of Somalia, was on the receiving end of a total of 72 hours of relentless bombardment by Muse Bihi’s Somaliland Militia. Lasanod and its inhabitants are in grave danger; about every third minute of the hour, one can hear the sound of heavy artillery flying from across one of several mountains that surround the city. Somaliland militia dug up heavy defense positions behind the Sayyid mountain from which they can fire illegally obtained modern mortars into the heartland of the city. Such indiscrimate unlawful shelling of civilian populations resulted in the complete abandonment of the city. those who could afford fled to neighboring towns of Taleh, Kalabaydh, buhodle, Boame, Yagoori, Widh-widh, Garowe, and more. Currently, the remaining SSC local citizens are trying to defend what is left of their children, women and vulnerable seniors. With the main water facility burned down and hundreds of residential houses shattered to pieces, mosques and even medical clinics were not spared; Near the main road of Red Crescent village, instead of helping the injured, nurses at Al-Manhal hospital huddled behind concrete walls to cover for personal safety.
This Lasanod is the same Dervish city that just, a few days ago, set a record for waving the longest Somali flag along with the largest celebrations ever in welcoming their 13 Traditional elders. This new found democratic fever was fueled by the youth [Jamahirta] of Lasanod. Dubbed the Blue Uprising, landmarks, streets and even trees were painted in blue. To honor young heroes and heroines killed while throwing stones, the people of Sool region constructed their first blue Monument in Freedom Square at the main intersection of the city; a clear rejection of the occupation and divisive tribal manipulations of the Somaliland administration. Since 2007, the violent invasion of Somaliland produced a deadly phenomenon of willful blindness to the sniper like criminals that murdered approximately 120 of local intellectuals, politicians and priests. With no capture or suspects brought to justice, Sheikh Adan Weli, one of the prominent religious scholars in the city, said in his Friday sermon that “People not only felt unsafe to walk at night, but they had to watch their back whenever there were increased patrols by Somaliland soldiers”.
Protesting these injustices, peaceful demonstrators began to express their freedom of speech and Right to assembly, However, the UK funded Rapid Response Units (RRU) of Somaliland militia returned live fire, killing dozens of youth in broad Day-light shooting. On the faithful day of Jan. 6th, of 2023, as the 33 locally elected Council of SSC members released their long awaited communique on the Sovereignty of Sool, Sanaag and Cayn regions, they declared their socio-political allegiance to the Federal Government of Somalia. Threatened by this pro Union Lasanod Declaration, Secessionist Somaliland army began their genocidal onslaught; killing and wounding hundreds of local residents.
Meanwhile, Amnesty International, called for “immediate unhindered access for humanitarian actors” to get into lasanod. “We are appalled by the reports of large numbers of people killed, injured and displaced, and damage to homes and hospitals, unlawful killings, and other violations must end” said Amnesty of Eastern Africa. Similarly, U.S. Embassy in Mogadishu also called for “Rule of Law to prevail over violence against civilians and destruction of property, we are concerned about the violence in laascaanood resulting in civilian deaths and causalities” added the communique.
Imagine a whole city without water supply. Water is pronounced Bio in Somali, and Latin word Bio is Life (Nolol). So Water is Life (Biyuhu waa Nolol) and so tonight, Literally, Lasanod is life-less. Unable to treat its wounded, unable to quench its thirst, unable to speak its truth, Lasanod is calling the international community to call for immediate investigation into the war crimes and Human rights violations perpetrated by Muse Bihi and his Somaliland army.
There are reports tonight, that Somaliland is calling for an unconditional ceasefire, while at the same time firing heavy artillery into lasanod civilians. Just like the Cuban Missiles crises, this is tantamount to the Soviets Russians asking the US for a ceasefire while their Cuban missiles were overlooking towards US cities. J.F. Kennedy said. No Bueno. Not in my neighborhood. The response of the Traditional Leaders of SSC remains to be seen.
More evidence of Muse Bihi bombing and shelling save-heaven spaces in Laascanod including this Mosque. He is committing war crimes in plain-sight. @UNSomalia @US2SOMALIA @EU_in_Somalia pic.twitter.com/Sn0Yjc9iFa
— Hodo Mure (@HodoMure) February 9, 2023
This is how secessionist Muse & his militia are targeting hospitals and other health infrastructure in laascaanood pic.twitter.com/dWCJACK4JD
— Hodo Mure (@HodoMure) February 10, 2023