Following the catastrophic military retreat by Somaliland armed forces from their bases in Lasanod, a gruesome picture of treatment has emerged from Lasanod against captured Somaliland military prisoners of war. Images shared on social media show jubilant crowds dancing and mistreating dead soldiers. Other images show a barbaric level of violance being perpetrated by Lasanod militias against Somaliland military POWS.
Although Somaliland government and particularly President Bihi, who is said to have ordered the hasty and poorly planned retreat, has promised a full transparent investigation to understand how things came apart but so far has not addressed the reports coming out of Lasanod on the treatment of Somaliland’s military POWs in the hands of the militia and Al-Shabaab terrorist groups.
Unconfirmed reports coming out of Lasanod state that over 60 prisoners of war have been handed over to various militia groups, some to Al-Shabaab affiliated groups in Lasanod and have been executed. Somaliland Chronicle is unable to independently verify these reports.
Garad Jama Garad Ali, one of the instigators of the crisis who spoke at an event, seems to endorse the purported killing and torture of Somaliland’s captured military personnel and calls upon his follows to attack before Somaliland recovers and finish off the captives to cheering crowds.
It is unclear what the next steps are for Somaliland and if there are plans to retake Lasanod militarily, but confidential sources have confirmed large military build up. It is also unclear how long the investigation President Bihi has promised will take or if there will be changes to the military’s top brass.
International Community has released a statement condemning the escalation of violance but did not address the treatment of prisoners of war. Somaliland has been under constant pressure to end hostilities despite being under constant attack from militias in Lasanod.
President Bihi and his government have advocated for defensive posture ever since the start of hostilities in Lasanod, and have ordered its military to confine itself to its barracks despite the military being under sustained attacks from an amalgam of militias, including Al-shabaab as well as Puntland forces.