UN: UN envoy in Somalia expresses concern over violence in Gaalkacyo

New York, US (PANA) - UN envoy in Somalia, Michael Keating has expressed concern over renewed violence in the Somali city of Gaalkacyo, and called on all parties to honour the ceasefire agreement.

A statement by the UN Assistance Mission in Somalia (UNSOM), obtained by PANA in New York on Sunday said that, at least three people have been killed and several others injured in the violence that broke out in Gaalkacyo city, last Friday.

UNSOM said Gaalkacyo located on the border of Puntland and Galmudug states had already been facing a difficult humanitarian situation and food insecurity, noting that, trucks carrying relief supplies for people affected by drought have been blocked on the northern side of Gaalkacyo for the past three weeks due to continuing roadblocks.

"It is unprecedented for humanitarian supplies to be denied access by either side as previously, even amid armed fighting, both sides have allowed humanitarian aid to pass through, in line with international humanitarian law," the mission stated.

It also highlighted that despite commendable efforts of the Joint Committee of local authorities and elders from Puntland and Galmudug, a stalemate in the negotiations over removing the roadblocks installed by both Puntland and Galmudug is putting the ceasefire in serious jeopardy.

"Puntland and Galmudug must resolve their differences in a non-violent manner and immediately agree on steps to dismantle the roadblocks, reopen the roads, and pull back the forces without further delay, and any spoiler against peace and stability should be scrutinized," the statement said.

The mission also raised alarm that continued hostilities could prompt another mass displacement in the city. Of an estimated 90,000 people displaced as a result of the fighting in October 2016, about 30,000 displaced people have not yet returned due to fear of renewed fighting.

"While humanitarian partners continue to respond to the needs of the displaced and host communities, every effort should be made by all concerned parties to avoid another displacement that would further deepen human suffering," it added.
-0-  PANA  AA  25Dec2016

25 december 2016 18:17:45

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