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UN, US call for end to fighting in Tukaraq as clashes claim over 30 lives

Storyline:National News, Security

The UN and US have called for immediate end to fighting in Tukaraq warning the clashes which yesterday alone claimed over 30 lives could spiral into a humanitarian crisis amid an ongoing drought and floods burden.

The UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM) said in a statement it echoed President Mohamed Farmaajo’s call ‘for an immediate cessation of hostilities between ‘Somaliland’ and Puntland forces following recent fighting in the Tukaraq area of the Sool region.’

“The United Nations urges both sides to engage in dialogue to work towards a ceasefire and political agreement,” UNSOM head Michael Keating said. The UN body also warned the fighting was posing enormous risks such as displacement of thousands of people ‘at a time when humanitarian needs are already outstripping available funds.’

The Special Representative encourages the authorities of ‘Somaliland’ and Puntland to urgently seek a peaceful solution to their differences, the statement added.

Separately, the US Mission to Somalia in a tweet called dialogue and end to the conflict.

@US2SOMALIA [the US Mission to Somalia] encourages immediate ceasefire around Tukaraq; urges Somaliland, Puntland dialogue and partnership with local communities to end conflict.”

President Farmaajo Tuesday called for immediate and unconditional end to the clashes and urged leaders and elders to ‘negotiate for peace and an agreeable co-existence.

“The hostilities in Tukaraq must cease immediately, it has already caused death and damage, it is senseless and must stop,” a statement from Villa Somalia read in part.

Goobjoog News correspondents said 17 soldiers from Puntland side were killed and 20 others injured while Somaliland lost 20 soldiers but there were no immediate reports on those injured. Both sides however claimed victory in the fighting which stopped Tuesday evening.

Meanwhile the UN Humanitarian agency, OCHA raised alarm Tuesday over the fighting noting there were no resources to respond to possible large scale displacement from the fighting.

“With an underfunded response plan & large caseloads from drought and floods, there won’t be funds to assist those displaced by an avoidable human-made disaster,” OCHA tweeted.