Somalia president calls for abrupt end to fighting in northern region
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The president of Somalia’s Federal Government Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo called for an immediate cessation of inter-clan hostilities in the north of the country, Garowe Online reports.
In a statement released on Thursday, president Farmajo urged the warring parties in El-Afweyn area of the Sanaag region to resolve their differences through dialogue and to respect the sanctity of the life.
Farmajo appealed to Somaliland authorities, the local traditional elders, religious leaders, civil society groups, women and youth to use their influence to put an end to the fighting, which erupted last week.
At least 25 people were killed and more than 40 others wounded in clan clashes in the rural areas of El Afweyn and Dud Arale with reports that many families fled the villages as a consequence of the conflict.
The president sent his deepest condolences to the Somali families struggling to cope with the loss of loved ones in the meaningless skirmish and bloodshed, according to the statement, seen by Garowe Online.
In a separate incident, several soldiers died in a battle erupted in parts of the same province between Somaliland forces and militias loyal to Colonel Aare who defected from the state army last year.
According to local residents, the fighting flared up after the breakaway region’s troops launched an ambush attack on Col Aare loyalists as they were traveling in a convoy near the Dhoob area.
Sanaag is a disputed region, claimed by both Somaliland and the Puntland State of Somalia.
The states had been in gridlock since 2002 for control and the tension renewed after Somaliland troops seized control of the strategic town of Tukaraq in Sool region in January 2018 after an incursion against Puntland forces stationed there.