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Galmudug and Puntland sign ceasefire agreement in Galkaayo

Storyline:National News

Puntland and Galmudug have today signed a peace deal after three days of negotiations following the killing of about 30 people and displacement of thousands of others.

The deal which was witnessed by negotiation teams led by the Prime Minister Omar Abdirashid alongside Jubbaland leader Ahmed Madobe and his South West state counterpart Sharrif Hassan set out a four point framework to avert further bloodshed in Galkaayo.

The leaders agreed on unconditional ceasefire and withdrawal of forces from both sides creating buffer zone. In addition, both sides agreed to pave way for the return of displaced people which the UN agency, OCHA estimates at 40,000.

A join committee bringing together Federal and Regional states will be formed to spearhead further talks to find a lasting solution to the rivalry between the two sides, the two sides also agreed.

At least 30 people were killed last week when Galmudug and Puntland forces clashes in Galkaayo.

Goobjoog News correspondent Ali Eyn reporting from Galkaayo, said the deal is expected to ease tension in the town and allow people to resume their normal lives after a week of volatility.

Somali Premier Omar Abdirashid Ali, who helped to broker the deal alongside South-State leader, Shariif Hassan and Jubbaland president, has welcomed the agreement noting he was optimistic it would solve the dispute between the two states.

“This agreement will facilitate a complete understanding between the two leaders. I hope this agreement will lead to a consensus between the two leaders and foster relations,” said Sharmake.

Sharmake commented the two leaders for their participation and efforts to reach an agreement.

Speaking after the talks, Galmudug leader, Abdikarim Hussein leader called the agreement a “major victory for the people Galkaayo”. He said it will “give Galkaayo a chance, so that the residents live peacefully.”

Puntland leader Ali Gaas also praised the agreement but called for investigation of what led to the conflict adding that a permanent solution is only possible if credible investigations are carried out.

“The negotiation team should carry out investigation into what happened in Galkaayo and which side has started it. Puntland was conducting development projects when the fighting broke out,” Gaas said.

The delegates from EU, UN and Ethiopian ambassador, General Gabre, who all helped mediate the negotiations, witnessed the signing.