Leaders call for cease-fire after sufi militia overrun gov’t forces in central regions
MOGADISHU — Somali leaders have called for an end to fighting which has so far claimed more than 20 lives in central Somalia in the past two days.
President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Prime Minister Oman Abdiradhi Sharmake said on Wednesday evening that the fighting had caused unnecessary deaths and suffering to many families in Guricel and Galgadud region of central Somalia.
“The central regions are very important in terms of bringing lasting peace to Somalia and creating a good future for our people. It’s important to maintain the unity of the people in these regions,” Mohamud said.
“The government is committed and determined to ensure that law and order is fully restored by establishing a regional state. This is the only way to move forward,” he added.
Mohamud called on elders in the regions affected to resolve their differences for a common good of the country, saying the people in central Somalia should unite and ensure that their reconciliation meetings become fruitful for the benefit of their regions and the entire country.
He reiterated that the government is fully committed to, and is actively encouraging the facilitation of regional states’ formation across Somalia.
A fierce fighting between government troops and a moderate Islamist group Ahlusunah Wal Jamaah on control of Guricel town claimed over 20 lives on Tuesday.
Clan clashes in Galgadud region last week also led to the death of at least ten other people.
The last operation dubbed the Indian Ocean Operation carried out by Somali National Army and the Africa Union-backed force AMISOM recorded significant gains with the capture of key towns which were controlled by Al-Shabaab for a long time.
Sharmarke said the government was working out a new assault to recapture the remaining towns which are still under the control of Al-Shabaab.
“We are calling for unconditional cease-fire so that we can embark on the reconciliation and reconstruction process in various regions of the country,” Sharmarke said.
“Clan fights are giving a chance to the militant group Al- Shabaab to retake the regions which have been captured by the government.”
The prime minister said the central regions of Somalia are critical in bringing lasting peace in Somalia.
“It is important to maintain the unity of the people in these regions. The federal government is committed and determined to ensure that law and order is fully restored by establishing a regional state,” Sharmarke said.