Somalia: Monitoring committee meets after heavy fighting in Mogadishu

NAIROBI, 28 February (IRIN) - A newly-formed committee, set up to monitor a shaky ceasefire accord between the warring sides in Somalia, met on Thursday following clashes between rival warlords in Mogadishu.
The monitoring committee - made up of the US, EU, AU, Arab League and the regional Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) - met at the venue of the Somali peace talks in Mbagathi near the Kenyan capital Nairobi, sources close to the talks told IRIN on Friday.

They discussed the issue of imposing sanctions - such as travel restrictions - against sides which breach the cessation of hostilities agreement, signed by faction leaders and the Transitional National Government (TNG) in the Kenyan town of Eldoret last October.

The committee's views are being referred to a meeting of the foreign ministers of Djibouti, Kenya and Ethiopia - the so-called frontline states making up the IGAD technical committee which is steering the talks.

A routine meeting of the foreign ministers is due to take place in Nairobi on Saturday, although Djibouti has reportedly asked for a postponement until next week as its foreign minister is otherwise engaged.

Heavy fighting broke out on Wednesday in Mogadishu's Medina district between the Abgal militias of Umar Finish and Musa Sudi Yalahow. The clashes continued on Thursday, and at least 10 people have been killed, the sources said. Large numbers of civilians are reported to be fleeing the area.

On Thursday, Finish - who is in Nairobi - held talks with Kenya's newly-appointed Special Envoy to the talks Bethwel Kiplagat. Yalahow is currently in Mogadishu.


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