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Somaliland Deals with a Reputation Crisis

Since February 6, there has been fighting in the disputed city of Las Anod between forces in the self-declared state of Somaliland and local militia from the Dhulbahante clan in northern Somalia. The city, also known as Laascaanood, is located between Somaliland and Puntland, a nearby semi-autonomous region in Somalia’s northeast. Both regions are laying claim to the city. According to data received from hospitals in Las Anod, the death toll stands at 299, with 1,913 injured and more than 200,000 displaced since the conflict began. But analysts say beyond causing chaos in Somaliland, long celebrated for relative stability compared with Somalia, the war is also denting the region’s campaign for international recognition. The international community still regards the region as part of Somalia, despite decades of lobbying by regional officials on the foreign scene.