Clashes Between Puntland and Gamuldug Soldiers In Somalia Has Caused Thousands To Flee

A week of clashes between the Puntland and Gamuldug soldiers has seen many people killed with thousands of others forced to flee their homes.

The tension erupted when 13 Gamuldug soldiers were killed  by a mishandled US airstrike which was initially aimed at Al-Shabab fighters in the region.

Gamuldug and Puntland’s rivalry, which  has been present for long, caused the Gamuldug soldiers to point an accusing finger at Puntland for the death of their soldiers. They accused the latter of giving the US false information, leading to the death of their soldiers. This consequently led to a clash that has caused the death of many as well as the exodus of thousands from their homes.

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Since October 7, there have been deadly clashes between both groups in the Galkayo region, with Puntland accusing Gamuldug of retaliating.

“At least 11 people were killed and dozens wounded between October 7 and October 13,” Tapiwa Gomo, Somalia spokesman for the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), told AFP.

Despite a peace agreement being brokered in the region, there has been no peace in Somalia.

An OCHA statement, released late on Friday, states:

“Intermittent fighting continues and humanitarian partners in Gaalkacyo (Galkayo) estimate that over 50 000 people have been displaced as of 13 October,”

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“Local authorities have indicated that the number could be higher as more people continue to flee the violence,” it said, indicating that around 60% of these civilians were internally displaced people being forced to flee a second time.

“The armed violence has exacerbated an already fragile humanitarian situation.”

Galkayo is the home of rival group clashes, which are not connected with the Islamic militants, Al-Shabab. Also, due to the region not being under control of the central government in Mogadishu, these clashes sometimes spiral out of control.