Ri­val So­ma­lia re­gions agree to bury the hatchet, again

Chronicle (Zimbabwe) - - Worldwide -

MOGADISHU — The lead­ers of two neigh­bour­ing So­mali re­gions have agreed to re­spect a cease­fire whose re­peated vi­o­la­tions have claimed some 45 lives in re­cent weeks, the UN said on Sun­day.

Pres­i­dent Ab­di­weli Mo­hamed Ali of Punt­land and Ab­dilka­rim Hus­sein Guled, his coun­ter­part in Gal­mudug, met on Satur­day in the cen­tral So­ma­lia town of Galkayo — scene of the lat­est clashes — “to re-com­mit to a (De­cem­ber 2015) cease­fire in the dis­puted city”, UNSOM, the UN mis­sion in So­ma­lia, said.

The cease­fire was de­signed to end fre­quent clashes be­tween ri­val clans and armed groups but never en­tered into ef­fect. Fight­ing broke out again in Septem­ber, killing at least 45 over the past six weeks and prompt­ing some 90 000 civil­ians to flee their homes, ac­cord­ing to UNSOM.

“The re­newed com­mit­ment made in Abu Dhabi on 1 Novem­ber to a cease­fire, to sup­port the re­turn of dis­placed peo­ple and es­tab­lish a com­mit­tee to find a so­lu­tion to the con­flict has not been hon­oured,” the state­ment said.

Satur­day’s meet­ing was led by So­ma­lia’s prime min­is­ter, Omar Ab­di­rashid Ali Shar­marke. UN, EU and African Union of­fi­cials were present.

Ten­sion be­tween Punt­land and Gal­mudug, which are semi­au­tonomous en­ti­ties, flared in Septem­ber after Gal­mudug said 13 of its troops had been killed in a US airstrike tar­get­ing Is­lamist fight­ers in the Shabaab group after Punt­land — ac­cord­ing to Gal­mudug — gave the Amer­i­cans wrong in­tel­li­gence. — AFP

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