Militia Agrees to Ceasefire in Galmudug

By Aggrey Mutambo and Abdulkadir Khalif

Somalia’s militia, Ahlu Sunna Wal Jamaa (ASWJ) has agreed to a ceasefire following talks brokered by the local business community, ending days of bloodshed in Galmudug federal state.

Regional state President Abdi Karie Qoorqoor told the media on Wednesday that the group, seen as moderate and who had been government allies, agreed to leave Gur-el town following night-long talks.

“They have left town today morning, reportedly heading north to an area called Godwiil,” Mr Qoorqoor said.

“The town is now under the control of pro-Galmudug forces, and the people who had fled town are now trickling back.”

It was unclear what offers the group agreed to or if there would be further negotiations.

The AWSJ was allied with government forces against al-Shabaab but fell out over power-sharing arrangements in the local federal administration.

However, Mr Qoorqoor vowed he defend the state “at any cost”, calling on any groups with grievances to present them through legal channels.

“I can only welcome concerns presented peacefully, not violence.”


The decision to lay down the arms could now allow the state to complete its pending election for two senate seats, allowing the country to focus on polls of 275 MPs in the Lower House.

Earlier, Somalia’s international partners raised concerns that the continual violence in the Galmudug State of Somalia could derail the country’s electoral calendar and security programmes.

In a joint statement on Tuesday, the UN, the African Union, the European Union and other partners warned the fighting was already raising a new humanitarian crisis and could derail other government programmes for the country.

“Not only is the conflict causing severe humanitarian suffering to the people of the area, but it is also distracting from the urgent priorities of completing the electoral process and countering al-Shabaab,” they said.

Source: The East AFrican

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