Renewed infighting between clan-based govt troops claims 6 lives in Lower Shabelle
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Fresh clashes between clan based Somali government troops in the Lower Shabelle left at least 6 people dead and more than five others injured during the last 24-hours.
The clashes which are centered mainly in and around the districts of Marka and Shalambod come after the killing of a household near Shalambod, with local clans accusing clan based government troops in Shalambod of being behind the attack. As a retaliatory movement, clan militias in Marka attacked the house of Shalambod’s district Chief, Nuur Jiidoow, resulting in the killing of a female member of his household, according to residents.
The clan militias had since also taken over the town of Shalambod, after expelling Somali government forces from the town, however according to residents the government forces regrouped thereafter and re-took the town. The clan militias are reported to have retreated to the nearby village of ‘El-Jaale.
A large number of these clan militias were trained by the AMISOM in the coastal town of Marka, with many having recently completed their training. According to several sources during their training many clan elders and Marka’s district chief, Mohamed Yarisow, often visited the trainees and encouraged them to complete their training in order to defend their land from anyone and those who attempt to steal their resources, which many interpreting that this was an incitement to war between clans.
The acting security minister, Mohamed Sheikh Hassan “Haamud”, speaking from Mogadishu expressed that they were very concerned about the developing situation in the Lower Shabelle and added that they were trying to stop the violence. While the governor of Lower Shabelle, Abdulqadir Sidi, confirmed that the attacks and violence took place, and labeled it as “fighting between clan militias within the government forces that has been ongoing for a while”, he further added that all efforts to try stop the violence were unsuccessful, but were still trying.
Local elders in the area complain that the situation in Marka and Shalambod are very dire, with both clan militias killing indiscriminately, including women and children. “This has become unbearable, rivaling clan militias are now killing women, something very alien to Somali culture. We call on anyone who can intervene and stop this madness to take action” said local elder Abdi Yarow.
The Lower Shabelle province has gained a reputation for severe infighting between differing and rivaling clans, with fighting that occurred late last year near Janale and KM-50 claiming the lives of dozens people. Local clans in the area have accused rival clans of seeking assistance from government forces who are from their respective clans.