Calm Returns to Mogadishu After Sunday Clashes

Photo Credit: Reuters

Somalia’s capital is calm after Sunday fighting between government forces and fighters allied to opposition groups. Witnesses say the government has deployed more security forces Monday in the capital to maintain law and order.

The fighting erupted in some parts of Mogadishu Sunday afternoon and went to the night after fighters loyal to some presidential candidates took control of some neighborhoods and blocked streets.

The country’s Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble said Monday that he regrets the violence in Mogadishu aimed at threatening the peace of the city.

“I call for everybody to maintain the peace and protect the stability of the people. I order the security agencies to protect the population and to fulfill their national duty to manage and prevent any violence against the Somali people,” said Roble.

The council of presidential candidates condemned the attack against the former president and other leaders.

The interior ministry denied attacking the residence of former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The United Nations and other donors expressed concern about the fighting and urged calm and restraint by warring groups.

“Violence is not the solution to the current political stalemate. We urgently call on all parties to resume immediate dialogue,” UN said in a statement.

There is a peace initiative going on behind the scene led by clan elders to bring an end to the clashes that have displaced hundreds of families.

Somalia has witnessed a heightened political tension since the parliament voted for the executive to rule for another two years, a decision that is rejected by some opposition groups led by two former presidents.

 The parliament said it took that decision after the talks between the central government and five federal member states collapsed and leaders disagreed on how to conduct the parliamentary and the presidential vote.

Last week, Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo requested the African Union help to help mediate the electoral deadlock that threatens the country’s stability. A request accepted by the union.