Central Somalia Clash Kills 10, Injures 25 Others
At least 10 people have been killed and more than 25 others injured after two armed militias engaged in battle in central Somalia on Sunday.
Most of the injured were civilians, according to locals and medical officials, including women and children who got caught up in the battle. Witnesses have said the intense fighting broke out between heavily armed forces in Beledweyne town, the capital of Hiiraan region.
Somalia’s divided population
Somalia’s political unrest stems from the division of its population into clans and then further sub-clans. Territorial disputes and political arguments are common between the groups and all too often escalate into violence.
Local residents are often caught up in the crossfire, regularly making up part of the death toll, injury list and suffering damage to their homes, businesses or other properties. In the worst-hit areas of the country, many of those who survive are forced to flee from recurring violence.
Efforts to prevent further violence
Somalia government forces and African Union (AU) peacekeepers are in the Hiiraan region, attempting to stop such clashes between rival clans. AU troops even attempted to intervene in the Beledweyne conflict, but reportedly lost one soldier in their efforts.
A well-respected tribal chief in the area has called on member seniors of the rival clans to take the initiative and resolve their differences without violence.
“This is aimless fighting, bloodshed in Galkayo recently and today in Beledweyne. It is unfortunate this time after being in the civil war for over 25 years. I am calling for peace and I say concerned elders should dialogue and stop the bloodshed now,” chief Ugas Khalif told international press.