MOGADISHU (SD) – Somali government has called for a calm in Beledweyne town a day after the town witnessed deadly fighting between Somali government forces and a rebel group in Hiiraan region.
In a statement, Somali interior ministry said the government was carrying out efforts to end the conflict in the region through dialogue.
The political tensions have been heightening since last November when the elections were held in the state.
The ministry urged the public to work the government to stabilize the region.
“The ministry calls on elders, peace activists, religious leaders, business people, women and youth to stand together and work together to restore and strengthen stability as the country heads to the polls and Beledweyne is one of the designated places to host the election,” the statement reads in part.
The remarks of the ministry after fighters loyal to a renegade general, Abukar Hud engaged HirShabelle forces backed by Somali military, prompting fierce fighting in the town.
At least two people including a civilian were killed and several others wounded in the fighting.
The massing up of forces allied to Hud started last November when the new administration was installed in HirShabelle.
Hud and his faction are protesting the election of Ali Guudlaawe as the president of HirShabelle arguing his election violated clan power matrix which dictated a new president should have come from Hiiraan region.