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Las Anod (Somali: Laascaanood, Arabic: لاس عانود) is the administrative capital of the northern Sool province of Somalia. The city was part of the Dervish State until 1921, when it was incorporated into the former British Somaliland protectorate.
On October 15, 1969, while paying a visit to the city, Somalia's then President Abdirashid Ali Shermarke was shot dead by one of his own bodyguards. His assassination was quickly followed by a military coup d'état on October 21, 1969 (the day after his funeral), in which the Somali Army seized power without encountering armed opposition — essentially a bloodless takeover. The putsch was spearheaded by Major General Mohamed Siad Barre, who at the time commanded the army.
Following the outbreak of the civil war in 1991, separatist figures in the present-day Somaliland region in northwestern Somalia unilaterally declared independence from the rest of the country and laid claim to the Sool province and its capital Las Anod. In 2002, a re-organized Puntland government took over administration of Las Anod, with the consent of the city's residents. Due to delays in infrastructure spending in Sool, some locals felt disenfranchised and sided with Somaliland in the latter's October 2007 occupation of the area. Since Somaliland militarily seized the city, some 20,000 civilians have moved away. Large protests have also been staged in the city against visiting delegations from Somaliland. Additionally, the Puntland authorities have condemned the occupation and demanded that Somaliland withdraw its troops.
Las Anod is strategically positioned along trade routes in northwestern Somalia. The city is almost surrounded by hills and has considerable water resources, the latter of which makes it a prime destination for peoples from other parts of generally arid Somalia as well as from neighboring countries such as Djibouti and Ethiopia.
As of 2005, Las Anod has a total population of 75,436 residents. The town is primarily inhabited by people from the Somali ethnic group, with the Dhulbahante sub-clan of the Darod well-represented.
Las Anod has a number of academic institutions. According to the Puntland Ministry of Education, there are 6 primary schools in the Las Anod District. Among these are Tukaraq, Canjiid, Garbara and Al-falax Higlo.
Secondary school education is provided by Ilays Educational Academy, Muse Yusuf and Nugaal High Schools. Founded in 2004, Nugaal University (NU) is the first post-secondary institution of higher learning to be established in the area. The first group of four-year Nugaal University students graduated in September 2009.
Las Anod's economy is mainly centered on pastoralism and communications, with some additional retail trade. The area around the city is rich in livestock, while mobile phone and money transfer services provide almost 40% of tax revenues.
Landmarks and services
Las Anod Airport offers air transportation to local residents. The city also has a general hospital, the Las Anod Hospital, which was opened in 1958. There is also a privately operated hospital called Manhal, established in 2010.
In addition, the Las Anod features several landmarks. Among these sites are Goolad, Dhiif Hotel, Masjid Jama, Ataash Hotel, Royal, Hotel Hamdi, Durdurka, Darayda, Abdi Bille Football Stadium, Hills of Hilble, and Hills of Sayidka.
Radio Laascaanood is the main radio station operating in the Sool region from Las Anod.
- Abdi Bile, world champion long distance athlete
- Ali Khalif Galaydh, former Prime Minister of Somalia
- Mohammed Abdullah Hassan, religious leader, founder of Dervish state
- Mohamed Hashi, former president of Puntland
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Laascaanood.|
- Somaliland’s Quest for International Recognition and the HBM-SSC Factor
- Moshe Y. Sachs, Worldmark Encyclopedia of the Nations, Volume 2, (Worldmark Press: 1988), p.290.
- "Somalia: Somaliland unable to control mass exodus out of Las Anod" Garowe Online 23 October 2007, from Internet Archive
- Roble, Faisal (22 October 2007) "Somaliland: Is Invading Los Anod Part of Creating 'New Reality on the Ground'"? WardheerNews.Com
- "Somalia: Las Anod clan elders 'give up' on Puntland govt" Garowe Online 8 June 2008
- "Somalia: Somaliland forces fire on civilians in Las Anod, 1 killed" Garowe Online 7 November 2007
- "Somalia: Protests in Las Anod against visiting Somaliland ministers" Garowe Online 21 October 2007, from Internet Archive
- Somalia: Puntland leader warns of 'new civil war' as Somaliland forces attack Buhodle
- "Regions, districts, and their populations: Somalia 2005 (draft)" (PDF). UNDP. Retrieved 21 September 2013.
- "Puntland - Primary schools". Ministry of Education of Puntland. Retrieved 26 May 2013.
- "Ilays National University". Ilays Educational Academy. Retrieved 29 January 2015.