50 killed in Somalia inter-clan clashes

Mogadishu: At least 50 people have been killed and about 100 others injured in fierce fighting in Somalia’s breakaway region of Somaliland in the past two days, local officials said on Wednesday.

Abdirashid Hussein Arab, governor of Sool region, said the inter-clan fighting started on Monday over land disputes in Dhumay in southern Sool, Xinhua reported.

“The renewed fighting in Dhumay started after elders from the two rival clans signed a peace deal following talks that took a month,” Arab told journalists.

Dhumay, an area controlled by Somaliland, has also being claimed by neighboring Puntland for more than two years.

The two regional Somali states have clashed previously since 2002 over control of disputed regions in northern Somalia.

Local residents said there is a lot of tension in the area, adding that there could be more retaliatory clashes in the nearby villages.

The Somali government and the parliament on Wednesday called for an immediate end to the fighting that has resulted in the loss of innocent lives, urging both sides to pursue dialogue to resolve their disputes.

Local leaders in the region have also called on both sides immediately stop fighting, amid efforts by elders of the Sool region to mediate.

Arab said the regional state has stepped up efforts to contain the fighting by redeploying troops to help calm the situation.

Somaliland declared itself independent from Somalia in 1991, though no country formally recognizes it as such. Puntland is a semi-autonomous federal state of Somalia.