Rival Somalia regions agree to bury the hatchet, again
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