Heavy fighting between clan militias in Lower Shabelle leaves 20 dead
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Heavy fighting which lasted up to three hours between clan based militias in the government forces took place in the town of Marka, which reportedly left at least twenty people dead, with many more injured.
The clashes began last night as opposing clan based militias attacked rival clan militias who were holding control over the town of Marka, causing a heavy fight to break out between the two in which both sides used heavy weaponry. The fighting eventually led to the clan based militia holding control of Marka to be overpowered and expelled, with the opposing militia gaining control over the town early this morning.
The fighting has further spread to K-50 area, with an estimated distance of 40 km away from Marka, where the very same clan militias had begun attacking each other, which also led to the clan based militias in the area to be ousted and the rivaling clans taking over.
The commissioner for the district of Marka, Mohammed Yarisow, who fled the town after his militia was overpowered, has accused the clan militias within the government forces of being mobilized and sent from Mogadishu by senior government officials who intend on taking over the land by force. He further vowed to re-mobilize themselves and re-take their land from who he labeled as “clan militias from central Somalia”.
Former MP and current militia leader Abdullahi Wafow, who today lost control of K-50, also leveled the same accusations against those who attacked K-50 and took it over. He further added that well-known government military officers embedded in the clan based militias took part in the attacks, with intentions to take over the surrounding farmlands by force.
The situation in the Lower Shabelle has witnessed a recurring scene of infighting between clan based militias embedded in the government forces, which in the past two weeks alone have left more than sixty people dead. Several calls have been made to the AMISOM forces stationed in the area to intervene and prevent the fighting, however the response so far has been minimal to none.