MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s international partners are alarmed by deadly clashes between the Somali army and its former ally, Ahlu Sunnah Wal Jama’ah in the town of Guriel in Galmudug region, foreign ambassadors in Mogadishu said in a joint statement on Tuesday.
At least 130 people were killed and more than 600 wounded since the fighting erupted in Guriel on Saturday that lasted for four days. More than 100,000 people were displaced by the gunfight, the United Nations said in a statement.
“Not only is the conflict causing severe humanitarian suffering to the people of the area, but it is also distracting from the urgent priorities of completing the electoral process and countering al-Shabaab,” Somalia’s international partners said on Tuesday.
“We urge that the parties to this conflict immediately halt the fighting and resolve their differences through negotiations.”
The international partners said they are prepared to support efforts to begin talks aimed at ending the conflict between the federal government and Ahlu Sunnah “if requested by the parties”.
Fighting subsided on Tuesday night after Ahlu Sunnah fighters had withdrawn from Guriel and an uneasy calm has returned to the town on Wednesday after days of ferocious gun battle.
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