Clashes in Sool, Somalia, have forced more than 185,000 people to flee their homes, according to the United Nations’ emergency response agency.
Political tensions in Las’Anod have risen in recent months. Last week, Somaliland government forces and militias loyal to clans clashed and left a number of people dead in the contested town of Las Anod.
The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Thursday night that despite the declaration of a ceasefire, there were still reports of heavy fighting.
“More than 185,000 people have been displaced,” it said, adding that aid workers are struggling to respond due to a lack of resources.
“In the last few weeks, more than 60,000 Somalis, mostly women and children, have fled to Ethiopia’s Somali region to escape clashes and insecurity in the city of Laascaanood, in Sool region,” according to the statement.
The UN’s refugee agency said on Friday that over 60,000 people have fled to Ethiopia’s Somali region to get away from the violence. This is in addition to the tens of thousands of people who have been forced to leave Somaliland.
Elders in the Sool region released a statement saying they wanted to set up their own government, get support from Somalia’s federal government, and ask Somaliland to pull its troops out of the area. That led to violence.
On February 10, Somaliland’s government declared a cease-fire, but on Sunday, it claimed that terrorist groups had attacked its forces.
On Friday, Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre of Somalia welcomed the ceasefire and called for “immediate access to humanitarian aid.”
In Somalia, thousands of people have been forced to leave their homes on acount of extremist violence, drought, and fighting between clans.