Puntland says to start voter registration in Las’anod as Somaliland preps for elections in same area

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Puntland will commence voter registration in the contested region of Sool, state interior minister has said in what could portent a clash with Somaliland.

Mohamed Abdirahman Dhaban’ad told journalists Sunday the registration exercise will kick on in Las’anod in Sool region in ‘coming days.’

“We want to start voter registration exercise in Las’anod town. We want this process to take place peacefully,” Dhaban’ad said.   

The announcement comes in the midst of preparations for elections by Somaliland in the same area. Both Puntland and Somaliland contest ownership of Sool and Sanaag and have in some occasions gone into full scale fighting.

Somaliland took over Las’anod in 2007 following fighting with Puntland forces.
Heavy fighting between the two sides in Tukaraq village which is also located in Sool region led to tens of deaths in 2018.

Parliamentary and local government elections in Somaliland will take place on May 31 and will be expected to happen in the two contested regions.

Meanwhile unknown gunmen attacked three offices belonging to political parties in Las’anod Sunday evening with reports indicating at least two people were injured.

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