Somalia: Ceasefire again violated as fighting resumes in Mogadishu

News and Press Release
Originally published
NAIROBI, 19 March (IRIN) - Heavy fighting has again broken out in the Medina district of Mogadishu, according to sources in the Somali capital.
The fighting pits militias loyal to faction leader Muse Sudi Yalahow against those led by his former right-hand man, Umar Mahmud Muhammad Finish. The clashes, which began on Tuesday, continued on Wednesday. At least 10 people have been killed and scores wounded, Medina resident Mahmud Abdi told IRIN.

He said the latest round of fighting was a continuation of the battles which erupted in late February.

"The two sides have been confronting each other for the last two weeks," he said. "It was just a matter of time before they started again."

Yalahow and Finish both belong to the Da'ud subclan of the Abgal, and the fighting is said to be a struggle between the two to gain supremacy within the subclan.

This is the latest violation of a ceasefire agreement signed last October by the Somali parties attending peace talks, mediated by the regional Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Nairobi.

Somali sources attending the conference told IRIN it was up to the newly-created ceasefire monitoring committee to "start dealing with those who violate the agreement they signed".

"Condemnations are fine, but the committee should back them with action, otherwise no-one will take its statements seriously," one source said.

The African Union on Tuesday issued a statement expressing concern over the deteriorating security situation in Somalia.

It condemned violations of the cessation of hostilities accord and called for their immediate end, otherwise the AU "will call for imposing sanctions" against the leaders and parties responsible.


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