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Plans to evacuate fighting forces from Galkaayo at standstill

Storyline:National News

A brief confrontation between Puntland and Galmudug forces in Galkaayo has been reported.

Prime Minister Abdirashid Ali Sharmake, Puntland President Abdiweli Ali Gaas and his counterpart President Abdikarim Guled and a delegation from the United Nations are said to have been in town when the confrontation happened late Wednesday.

Conflicting reports have emerged on the evacuation of both forces from Galkaayo and fear of another collapse of the recently brokered peace deal between the two warring sides are intensifying.

Puntland elders insisted that forces will be staying in their base and Galmudug elders are demanding to halt the ongoing construction of the livestock quarantine center in Galkaayo until an amicable solution is reached.

The prime minister has been reported to have had separate consultations with elders from the two sides.

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.