Somali clan clashes kill more than 40 in two days

Clashes between rival clans have resulted in the deaths of 40 people in northern Somalia. Above, the aftermath of a truck bomb in Mogadishu. (Reuters)
Updated 24 October 2018

Somali clan clashes kill more than 40 in two days

  • The clashes began early Tuesday and continued on Wednesday around remote villages in the Sool region between militias from rival Darod sub-clans
  • The region has long been disputed between the breakaway state of Somaliland and the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland

MOGADISHU: Clashes between rival clans have killed more than 40 people in two days in a disputed region of northern Somalia, one of the worst such confrontations seen in the area, local officials and elders said.
The clashes began early Tuesday and continued on Wednesday around remote villages in the Sool region between militias from rival Darod sub-clans.
“We are calling for a cease-fire from the brotherly clans, this is a serious situation we have more than 40 people killed since yesterday and nearly 100 others are wounded,” Ismail Yasin, a traditional elder from the region, said Wednesday.
Mohamed Abdulahi, a security official in the regional capital Galkayo said the “death toll is nearly 50, this is the deadliest conflict in the area.”
Most of the casualties were reported in the village of Dhumay.
Local elders said the fighting between Dhulbahante militias in the Sool region was still ongoing, with the use of heavy weaponry.
The region has long been disputed between the breakaway state of Somaliland and the semi-autonomous Somali state of Puntland, whose rival forces last clashed in May, leaving dozens dead.
Somalia’s myriad clans — made up of sub-clans and extended networks — are a defining feature of society and identity.
Observers attribute much of the violence in the country since it collapsed into civil war in 1991 to clan rivalries over resources.
The central government in Mogadishu called on both sides to halt hostilities.
“The president of the federal government of Somalia and the prime minister are appealing for the local religious and traditional elders to intervene in the situation and help cease the bloodshed,” the statement said.


Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

Updated 13 August 2020

Sri Lankan leader appoints Cabinet, state ministers

  • Spotlight on economy, security as 67 officials take oath in palace ceremony

COLOMBO: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa administered the oath of office to 28 new Cabinet ministers and 39 state ministers on Wednesday during a swearing-in ceremony at the Kandy Royal Palace, a week after the Aug. 5 general elections.

“The Cabinet has been formed in a pragmatic and a realistic manner to implement the national program. Special attention was paid to national security, economic development, infrastructure, education, health and sports,” a Presidential Secretariat statement said.

While President Rajapaksa retained the defense portfolio, his brother, Namal Rajapaksa — the 34-year-old son of Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa — was named minister for youth and sports.

Several senior politicians, including former president Maithripala Sirisena, were left out of the new Cabinet.

The ninth parliament is set to meet on Aug. 20.

Only two members from minority communities, Fisheries Minister Douglas Devananda and Justice Minister Ali Sabry, were appointed from the Tamil and Muslim communities, respectively.

“I’m delighted to get this portfolio in recognition of my services to the nation, particularly to the legal field,” Sabry said.

He is the second Muslim justice minister to assume office after Rauff Hakeem of the Sri Lanka Muslim Congress.

The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) party, led by PM Rajapaksa, polled 6,853,690, or 59 percent of votes, and secured a total of 145 seats in parliament, including 17 of the National List seats.

Sabry said government efforts to limit the coronavirus pandemic had “impressed the nation enough to vote them into power.”

Lawyer Razik Zarook said: “It’s a great victory for the Muslim community. The era of mistrust and suspicion is over, and the foundation is laid to build the bridges of friendship and amity.”

However, international political lobbyist Muheed Jeeran told Arab News that though the Cabinet is promising, it is “full of confusion.”

“Sabry’s appointment has disappointed the nationalist group who want to implement one nation, one law,” he said.

“But it is a joyful moment for Muslims who supported the SLPP. However, it will be difficult for Sabry as justice minister. Will he become the wooden handle of the axe to chop the tree of traditional Muslim laws as per the nationalist agenda, or will he stand for Muslim rights?”