Somali protesters waving flag
Photo by Tim Sloan via Getty Images

Somali Americans Advocate in Washington D.C.

Around 200 Somali Americans gathered at the U.S. State Department to advocate for peace following the fatal clashes in Somaliland.

Over 200 Somali-American protesters from across the United States gathered at the U.S. State Department on Friday to advocate for peace after three weeks of clashes in Somalia’s breakaway Somaliland left over 100 dead and about 500 people severely injured.

According to Voice of America, one of the protesters stated that Somaliland could not forcefully rule.

"It is forbidden to kill the innocents, the children, elders, or women. Somaliland cannot rule by force. We will not allow Muse Bihi to kill innocent people," said one of the protesters, Abdirashid Mohamed Farah.

In the past, Faisal Ali Warabe, the current presidential candidate for the Republic of Somaliland also called out Bihi.

"It is clear that Muse Bihi is determined not to leave the presidency and plans to stay on as long as he wishes. I am telling you, the people of Somaliland, that Muse is pursuing his personal interest, not the national interest.” Warabe said at the time.

This year, Warabe kept the same tune when he shared a tweet disagreeing with the Somaliland leader’s politics.

“I feel very sad the senseless war continuing in Lasanod, Warabe tweeted. “The crisis of Lassanood is one of the immense problems in the country created by Musa.The country is on the brink of collapse and becoming the hub of extremists. I appeal President Musa to step down to save Somaliland.”

Armed with banners and placards, Somali-Americans didn’t relent as they gathered to spread awareness and show support for the victims of the mass violence in Las Anod, the administrative capital of the Sool region in Somaliland.

Last week, Bihi announced that he would be sending clan leaders to work towards de-escalating the violence. However, according to Voice of America, the clan elders in the region demanded that Somaliland pull out its troops before any dialogue could ensue.

During the demonstration, Voice of America reported that Abdirahman Mohamed Abdi, Somalia’s former minister of fisheries marine resources, said that the people of Las Anod were suffering.

“We are from 15 states in the U.S. and Canada. We are here to tell Somalis and the United States government that we want to express our feelings and show solidarity with the innocent people of Las Anod,” Abdi said. “We call for the United States to pressure Somaliland to cease the hostility.”