Somalia: Paramilitary group refuses to step back amid calls for dialogue
DHUSAMAREB, Somalia, June 9, 2015(Garowe Online)-A spokesman for the paramilitary group of Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamea (ASWJ) has ruled out possible pullout from strategic Dhusamareb town amid calls for peaceful solution to the standoff over state formation process in central Somalia, Garowe Online reports.
In an interview with Puntland-based independent station, Radio Garowe on Tuesday, Ahlu Sunna Spokesman Abdinur Mohamed Hussein said, they don’t have withdrawal option on the table, and would pursue a dialogue.
“We have yet to receive [UN envoy] message, but we won’t agree to withdraw,” said Hussein, referring to the press statement by United Nations envoy to Somalia, Ambassador Nicholas Kay.
He accused Somalia’s Federal Government of being in breach of a ceasefire agreement signed in Guri’el on March 5.
Kay asked Islamist militias to disengage and shun derailing ongoing state formation convention in Adado.
On Sunday, Ahlu Sunna militias seized key army bases and police compound in Galgadud regional capital of Dhusamareb after government forces fled.
As of Tuesday morning, residents reported of fresh military expansion by the paramilitary group which seeks to re-exert authority over Galgadud region.