News / Africa

UN, Mogadishu Call for Kismayo Ceasefire

Kenya Defense Force soldiers, serving in African Union Mission in Somalia, on patrol, Kismayo, June 2013 file photo.Kenya Defense Force soldiers, serving in African Union Mission in Somalia, on patrol, Kismayo, June 2013 file photo.
x
Kenya Defense Force soldiers, serving in African Union Mission in Somalia, on patrol, Kismayo, June 2013 file photo.
Kenya Defense Force soldiers, serving in African Union Mission in Somalia, on patrol, Kismayo, June 2013 file photo.
The Somali government and the United Nations have called on clan militias fighting in the port city of Kismayo to halt the violence and to solve their differences through dialogue.

The latest violence erupted Friday evening when a top government military commander was arrested and beaten allegedly by Kenyan forces. Militia commanders say at least five people have died in Kismayo in the past two days of fighting.

Somali local media say the latest clash started when one group was angered over the arrest of a top military commander.

Witnesses say confrontations between rival militias continued into Saturday and there was no sign of a letup in fighting.

Somali government spokesman Abdirahman Omar Osman says the central government in Mogadishu has called for an immediate ceasefire, insisting that no group can win through armed confrontation.

"The president has been saying that no group can win through their own political agenda or gains through violence," Osman said. "Violence breeds violence, so that’s why we believe the best option is through negotiations and reconciliation.”
 
In a statement, the U.N. Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia, Nicholas Kay, has also called for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

For weeks now, Kismayo has witnessed deadly clashes in the city between rival clan militias fighting over the control of the lucrative port.
 
The city has been simmering with tension since last month, after three different clan leaders said they were president of the newly created Jubaland region.

According to U.N. reports in Kismayo, the weeks of clashes in Kismayo have resulted in a large number of casualties including civilians.

Kay said the U.N. is trying to reach out to the parties involved in the fighting to defuse the tensions.

Osman says the government is ready to convene a peace process for all groups and stakeholders.
   
“We hope a solution will be found which can lead us to a reconciliation conference to be held for all parties, groups in the area," Osman said. "We don’t want any group to be left behind in the reconciliation. We believe all the Somalis have a stake in taking part on the call of the government to own the reconciliation.”

Meanwhile, Somali government officials and Ahmed Madobe, leader of the Ras Kamboni militia and one of the men who claims to be president of Jubaland, met in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to discuss ways to end the violence and the deadlock.

The Somali federal government has refused to recognize any leadership appointments in Jubaland, deeming the process unconstitutional.

You May Like

Philippines, Muslim Rebels Try to Salvage Peace Pact

Peace process faces major setback after botched military operation to find terrorists results in bloody gunbattle between government forces, Moro Islamic Liberation Front fighters More

Republicans Expect Long, Expensive Presidential Battle

Political strategist says eventual winner will be one who can put together strongest coalition of various conservative groups that make up Republican Party More

Video New Wheelchair Is Easier to Use, Increases Mobility

Engineers have come up with a lever-operated design that makes use of easily accessible bicycle technology More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grievingi
X
Benno Muchler
March 26, 2015 3:41 PM
Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Liberia's Almost Last Ebola Patient Grateful but Still Grieving

Beatrice Yardolo was to make history as Liberia’s last Ebola patient. Liberians recently started counting down 42 days, the period that has to go by without a single new infection until the World Health Organization can declare a country Ebola-free. That countdown stopped on March 20 when there was another new case of Ebola, making Yardolo’s story a reminder that Ebola is far from over. Benno Muchler reports from Monrovia.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video US, South Korea Conduct Joint Military Exercises

The Eighth U.S. Army Division and the Eighth Republic of Korea Mechanized Infantry Division put on a well orchestrated show of force for the media this week during their joint military training exercises in South Korea. VOA’s Seoul correspondent Brian Padden was there and reports the soldiers were well disciplined both in conducting a complex live fire exercise and in staying on message with the press.
Video

Video Space Program Status Disappoints 'Last Man on the Moon'

One of the films that drew big crowds last week at the annual South by Southwest festival in Austin, Texas, tells the story of the last human being to stand on the moon, U.S. astronaut Eugene Cernan. It has been 42 years since Cernan returned from the moon and he laments that no one else has gone there since. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Young Filmmakers Shine Spotlight on Giving Back

A group of student filmmakers from across the United States joined President Barack Obama at the White House this month for the second annual White House Student Film Festival. Fifteen short films were officially selected from more than 1,500 entries by students aged 6 through 18. The filmmakers and their families then joined the president and a group of celebrities for a screening of their films. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video VOA Exclusive: Interview with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, during his first visit as president to Washington, gave a one-on-one interview with VOA Afghan Service reporter Said Suleiman Ashna, about his request for a change in U.S. troop levels, the threat from the Islamic State, and repairing relations with the United States and Pakistan. The interview was held at Blair House, late Sunday, in Pashto.
Video

Video California Science Center Tells Story of Dead Sea Scrolls

The ancient manuscripts were uncovered in the mid-20th century, and they are still yielding clues about life and religious beliefs in ancient Israel. As VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports, an exhibit in Los Angeles shows how modern science is bringing the history of these ancient documents to life.
Video

Video Angelina Jolie Takes Another Bold Step

Hollywood actress and filmmaker Angelina Jolie has revealed she had her ovaries and fallopian tubes removed to lower her odds of getting cancer. Doctors say the huge publicity over her decision will help raise awareness about the importance of cancer screening. VOA’s George Putic has more

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More