UN warns Puntland and Galmudug states against violating ceasefire deal

UN envoy to Somalia Michael Keating has warned both regional states in central and northern Somalia against violating the terms of the ceasefire agreed on Saturday in Galkaayo.

The envoy said any violation of the peace pact will be met with consequences noting it was imperative each side effects the terms of the agreement to the latter.

“Violations of the agreement are unacceptable, and indeed those responsible will be held accountable,” Keating said in a statement issued in Mogadishu on Sunday.

Keating said personal commitment of Presidents Abdiweli Mohamed Ali “Gaas” of Puntland and Abdikarim Hussein Guled of Galmudug is encouraging, but must be accompanied by full realization of the agreements

Keating said the meeting was very significant, noting that the United Nations and international partners will support an agreement and practical arrangements to stop the fighting immediately, ensure sustained dialogue and help local communities as well as Puntland and Galmudug to resolve their differences, and further its swift implementation.

“Extremists and other rejectionists have an interest in undermining peace. This must not be allowed to happen,” said Keating who was accompanied by the United Nations, the European Union, African Union and the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD) officials.

Tension between Puntland and Galmudug, which are semi-autonomous entities, flared in September after Galmudug said 13 of its troops had been killed in a US airstrike targeting hardliner fighters in the Shabaab group after Puntland − according to Galmudug − gave the Americans wrong intelligence.

The divided city of Galkaayo, about 700 kilometres northeast of the capital Mogadishu, has seen repeated clashes in recent weeks but last Sunday’s fighting is the deadliest yet and marked the collapse of a short-lived peace agreement between the two semi-autonomous Somali states.

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