Ethiopia: Peace talks begins between two conflicting Somalia states



Peace talks between the autonomous Somali state of Puntland and the neighboring Galmudug state has re-started following clashes between them that claimed the lives of 20 people last week.

According to information released on Tuesday from Ethiopia’s foreign ministry a federal government delegation led by Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid Sharmarke is in Galkayo town that falls on the border of the two states to broker the peace deal.

Galkayo is divided into two zones, with the northern part of the city forming part of Puntland state, while the southern part is under the Galmudug administration.

The fighting erupted after an argument involving the construction of a new road by Galmudug state in the town, which was halted by Puntland forces.

Local elders from the two sides held ceasefire negotiations early last week and agreed to a deal under which the two sides pulled back forces from the frontlines and started negotiations to avoid further clashes. However, fighting resumed again last Wednesday.

Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in a statement on Sunday called on the two sides to avoid further bloodshed, warning that his government would take a tough position towards any further fighting.

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