First Published: 2003-07-09

28 killed in inter-clan fighting in Somalia

Fighting erupts between Sa'ad sub-clans and those of Saleban-Abdalla in Mudug region of central Somalia.


Middle East Online

More than 65 people were also wounded in the battle

MOGADISHU - At least 28 people have been killed and 65 others wounded in fighting in village in central Somalia in the past two days, local officials said on Wednesday.

Elders and local officials reported by telephone from Galkayo, the capital of the Mudug region, that fighting had taken place "on Tuesday and early Wednesday in the village of Afbarwaqo in Mudug region of central Somalia between Sa'ad sub-clans and those of Saleban-Abdalla."

"About 28 people, including civilians, were killed and more than 65 wounded in the battle, where machineguns, battlewagons and rocket-propelled grenades were used by both sides" one of the elders said.

"The fighting has subsided, but the area has remained tense since hostilities erupted on Tuesday, with civilians still fleeing to safer areas," local official Ali Ahmed Alore said.

Elders said the fighting was related to a land dispute in the area, where salt is produced for commercial purposes.

Civilians are often victims in inter-clan fighting in Somalia, a country in the Horn of Africa which has had no centralised government since dictator Mohamed Siad Barre was toppled in January 1991.

The fighting came days after Somali leaders attending a peace conference in neighbouring Kenyan capital, Nairobi, agreed to establish a federal government which will rule the Horn of Africa country for the next four years.

The more than 300 delegates also agreed at the conference on Saturday that parliament will appoint the new federal president, who in turn will appoint a prime minister.

The prime minister will be assisted by three deputy prime ministers.

But the following day the president of Somalia's Transitional National Government (TNG), which has only limited control of the strife-torn country, rejected the accord, saying it was unacceptable to the TNG.

"The accord signed by the Somali factions is unacceptable to the TNG, because it undermines the unity of Somalia," President Abdulkassim Salat Hassan told journalists in Nairobi.

The delegates at the Nairobi peace conference represented the TNG, armed Somali factions under the Somali Restoration and Reconciliation Council (SRRC), armed and political groups known as the "G8", and the clan-based civil society.

Talks on the war-devastated nation started in the Kenyan western Rift Valley town of Eldoret on October 15, but were move to Nairobi's southwest suburb of Mbagathi early this year.

The latest talks are the 16th attempt by the international community to restore peace to Somalia.


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