UN Special Representative concerned over local conflicts in Somalia

18 Dec 2013

UN Special Representative concerned over local conflicts in Somalia

Mogadishu – UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Somalia Nicholas Kay today expressed concern about recent local conflicts in the country.

Violent clashes in several parts of Somalia could threaten the country's progress towards peace and stability as well as the rights of thousands of affected citizens, according to the Special Representative. Clashes have been reported near Jowhar in Middle Shabelle, some areas around Beledweyne in Hiraan and around K50 in Lower Shabelle.

Reports indicate that clan-based militia are evicting farmers and villagers from productive farm land.

The clashes continue to cause death, injury, displacement and the destruction of property and crops in the fields. Those affected often come from smaller, or minority, clans and communities.

SRSG Kay said “the Federal Government of Somalia must continue to take these incidents seriously. Somali national security forces on the ground need to be inclusive and to uphold law and order. Elders and leaders need to find peaceful solutions.”

“The Federal Government should investigate fully what has happened. Those who have broken the law should face justice. The government must also protect the land and livelihoods of the rightful occupants,” Kay added.

SRSG Kay said: “I welcome the concern expressed publicly by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, most recently yesterday, and the efforts already underway to resolve disputes. Without a decisive response, these incidents may provoke a backlash that could grow into a new and more severe round of local conflicts. The UN will continue to monitor the situation and offer support to peace building and reconciliation efforts.”