International partners are deeply concerned about the renewed fighting between forces from Galmudug and Puntland in Gaalkacyo which has resulted in at least five people being killed. Hundreds of civilians have already been displaced by the violence.
Tensions around Gaalkacyo are longstanding and have already resulted in violence. On 2 December 2015, Puntland President Abdiweli Mohamed Ali Gaas and Galmudug President Abdikarim Hussein Guled signed an agreement that committed their governments to refrain from actions that could exacerbate the conflict after an outbreak of fighting in late November last year.
Under the terms of the Gaalkacyo Agreement, the parties agreed to make a recently negotiated ceasefire permanent, establish a Joint Committee consisting of representatives of both federal member states to resolve differences peacefully between the parties, withdraw their forces from areas where clashes had occurred, and allow displaced civilians to return to their homes. However, some key aspects of the agreement have not been implemented.
Urgent steps are needed now to de-escalate tensions, facilitate local conflict resolution and reactivate the 2 December 2015 agreement. To that end, the United Nations, African Union, European Union, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development and the Federal Government of Somalia have formed a task force to engage with all relevant parties, facilitate an immediate end to the ongoing fighting, support the full implementation of the 2015 Gaalkacyo Agreement and help the parties to find a lasting solution to their recurring disputes.
“We call on the leaders of Puntland and Galmudug to use their influence to end the fighting immediately and observe the ceasefire agreement that was brokered by local clan elders and religious leaders on 9 October,” said the Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Somalia, Michael Keating. “The governments of these two federal member states should exercise restraint and withdraw their respective security forces from Gaalkacyo and environs as a mutual confidence-building measure.”
International partners welcomed the commendable efforts of local elders, clerics and other community leaders to stop the violence and expressed their readiness to support all initiatives aimed at reducing tensions between the warring parties.