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Ambassador André: Military exercise halted due to clashes between Somaliland and local forces in Laascaanood

Mogadishu June 02, 2023 (SD) – The outgoing U.S. Ambassador to Somalia, Larry Andre, has revealed the reason behind the cancellation of the U.S.-led military exercise scheduled to take place in Berbera this year, citing its potential connection to the conflict in Laascaanood.

Recently, Andre provided an interview to the BBC, stating that the military exercise was halted after clashes erupted between Somaliland forces and local residents in the city of Laascaanood. “That was the reason we postponed it ,” said André.

The military exercise, previously announced by the United States as taking place in Berbera, would have involved ten military units from African countries, including Botswana, Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya, Djibouti, Somalia, and Somaliland.

Andre, who discussed the visit of American officials to Berbera before the exercise was called off, emphasized that they wanted to assess the capabilities and readiness of the Berbera Port.

“We wanted to evaluate the capabilities and the work of Berbera Port in case the American military ships require supplies or any other services,” added Andre.

This is the first time the U.S. government has spoken about the reasons for canceling the military exercise, which was originally intended to strengthen ties with African coastal countries.

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