Forty five people killed and over 160 other injured in five weeks of fighting between forces loyal to Galmudug and Puntlands, the UN humanitarian agency said on Friday.
Thought the tension is still high but relative calm has returned to Galkaayo town which had seen over over a month of deadly fighting, according to UN Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) .
“The warring parties continue to maintain their defensive positions. Humanitarian partners estimate that nearly 90,000 people remain displaced due to increased tensions and the recurrent clashes between forces allied to Galmudug and Puntland administrations,” OCHA noted.
OCHA said heavy fighting between Galmudug and Puntland forces that flared up on Nov. 6 left 22 people dead and 97 others injured; on Nov. 8, one civilian was reported killed following an exchange of fire despite a peace deal brokered by United Arab Emirates on Nov. 1.
“Health officials estimated that 45 people have been killed and 162 injured since Oct. 7. Civilians make up for 25 percent of the casualties,” OCHA said.
The UN agency said the disruption to schooling has affected over 20,000 learners for the fifth week as well as all the internally displaced persons (IDPs) settlements in eight locations in north Galkayo and 13 in south Galkaayo remain vacated.
According to OCHA, the conflict has disrupted the livelihoods of people who were already displaced and vulnerable, with most of the displaced people fleeing to distant villages and struggling to get to continue their livelihoods.
The divided city of Galkaayo, about 700 kilometres northeast of the capital Mogadishu, has seen repeated clashes in recent weeks but Sunday’s fighting is the deadliest yet and marked the collapse of a short-lived peace agreement between the two semi-autonomous Somali states.
In September the US was drawn into the rivalry when Galmudug authorities accused Puntland of duping US forces into carrying out an air strike on its soldiers, killing 13.