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

Will Cuba Follow the Southeast Asia Model?

Decision to restore ties between US and Cuba has some debating whether it will lead to enhancement or regression of democracy for Communist island nation More

Kenyan Designer Finds Her Niche in Fashion Industry

‘Made in China’ fabrics underlie her success More

Report: CIA, Israel's Mossad Killed Senior Hezbollah Commander

The Washington Post story says Imad Mughniyah was killed instantly by a bomb "triggered remotely" from Tel Aviv by Mossad agents More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Lateri
X
Deborah Block
January 31, 2015 12:12 AM
Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Jefferson's Library Continues to Impress, 200 Years Later

Two hundred years after the U.S. Congress purchased a huge collection of books belonging to former President Thomas Jefferson, it remains one of America’s greatest literal treasures and has become the centerpiece of Washington’s Library of Congress. VOA’s Deborah Block reports.
Video

Video Egypt's Suez Canal Dreams Tempered by Continued Unrest

Egypt plans to expand the Suez Canal, raising hopes that the end of its economic crisis may be in sight. But some analysts say they expect the project may cost too much and take too long to make life better for everyday Egyptians. VOA's Heather Murdock reports.
Video

Video Threat of Creeping Lava Has Hawaiians on Edge

Residents of the small town of Pahoa on the Big Island of Hawaii face an advancing threat from the Kilauea volcano. Local residents are keeping a watchful eye on creeping lava. Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Pro-Kremlin Youth Group Creatively Promotes 'Patriotic' Propaganda

As Russia's President Vladimir Putin faces international pressure over Ukraine and a failing economy, unofficial domestic groups are rallying to his support. One such youth organization, CET, or Network, uses creative multimedia to appeal to Russia's urban youth with patriotic propaganda. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports.
Video

Video Filmmakers Produce Hand-Painted Documentary on Van Gogh

The troubled life of the famous 19th century Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh has been told through many books and films, but never in the way a group of filmmakers now intends to do. "Loving Vincent " will be the first ever feature-length film made of animated hand-painted images, done in the style of the late artist. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Issues or Ethnicity? Question Divides Nigeria

As Nigeria goes to the polls next month, many expect the two top presidential contenders to gain much of their support from constituencies organized along ethnic or religious lines. But are faith and regional blocs really what political power in Nigeria is about? Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Rock-Consuming Organisms Alter Views of Life Processes

Scientists thought they knew much about how life works, until a discovery more than two decades ago challenged conventional beliefs. Scientists found that there are organisms that breathe rocks. And it is only recently that the scientific community is accepting that there are organisms that could get energy out of rocks. Correspondent Elizabeth Lee reports.
Video

Video Paris Attacks Highlight Global Weapons Black Market

As law enforcement officials piece together how the Paris and Belgian terror cells carried out their recent attacks, questions are being asked about how they obtained military grade assault weapons - which are illegal in the European Union. As VOA's Jeff Swicord reports, experts say there is a very active worldwide black market for these weapons, and criminals and terrorists are buying.
Video

Video Activists Accuse China of Targeting Religious Freedom

The U.S.-based Chinese religious rights group ChinaAid says 2014 was the worst year for religious freedom in China since the end of the Cultural Revolution. As Ye Fan reports, activists say Beijing has been tightening religious controls ever since Chinese leader Xi Jinping came to office. Hu Wei narrates.
Video

Video Theologians Cast Doubt on Morality of Drone Strikes

In 2006, stirred by photos of U.S. soldiers mistreating Iraqi prisoners, a group of American faith leaders and academics launched the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. It played an important role in getting Congress to investigate, and the president to ban, torture. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Former Sudan 'Lost Boy' Becomes Chess Master in NYC

In the mid-1980’s, thousands of Sudanese boys escaped the country's civil war by walking for weeks, then months and finally for more than a year, up to 1,500 kilometers across three countries. The so-called Lost Boys of the Sudan had little time for games. But one of them later mastered the game of chess, and now teaches it to children in the New York area. VOA’s Bernard Shusman in New York has his story.
Video

Video NASA Monitors Earth’s Vital Signs From Space

The U.S. space agency, NASA, is wrapping up its busiest 12-month period in more than a decade, with three missions launched in 2014 and two this month, one in early January and the fifth scheduled for January 29. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the instruments being lifted into orbit are focused on Earth’s vital life support systems and how they are responding to a warmer planet.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid