Somalia: Clam returns to Galkacyo after a violent week

Published: January 1, 2010

People in Gaalkacyo the capital of Mudug region, central Somalia, are returning to their homes after a peace accord was reached by warring sides in the divided city.
More than 25 people have been killed in the fighting between forces loyal to Puntland State and militias from southern parts of Mudug.
The violence which have erupted after the Puntland administration in Galkacyo began collecting tax from business in the southern parts of the city.
In the 90s, many people who are now Puntland residents, allowed their homes and business to be rented by people from the southern parts of Mudug. This later grew into the Galkacyo main market, where both sides meet.
Since the establishment of Puntland State in 1998, the authorities on the Puntland side have avoided to collect tax from residents in the southern parts of the town.
This all changed after the election of the current Mayor Abdirahman Mohamud Haji Hassan.
The new mayor, Abdirahman Mohamud called for more united city, he began collecting taxes and clearing illegally shanty homes on major roads.
Last week, many business leaders from the south refused to pay the tax and took up arms.
More than 5 city council officials and almost 20 civilians were killed in the skirmishes in the town.
After two days of negotiations between elders from the tribes in the region, a peace treaty was reached.
This week, a statement released by the Puntland regional authorities said both parties have agreed to settle the dispute through dialogue.
The governor of Galkacyo Col.Ahmed Salad, said the city council from Puntland administration, will collect the tax and manage parts of southern Galkacyo, where most of the buildings are owned by the Puntland residents.
“…all the buildings will be registered and counted…this process will allow us to see who owns the buildings, if they are owned by Puntland residents, then the Puntland authorities will collect taxes from those buildings and vise versa….” Says Col.Ahmed Salad, the Puntland governor of Mudug region.
“…The new treaty will at least allow people to return to their homes, and to carry on their lives, It also prevents major conflict between Puntland and the south…”says Mohamed a tribesman from the south.
Ali Khalif
Horseed Media

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