Normalcy returns in Beled-Hawo as FGS claims victory over Jubaland forces

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MOGADISHU, Somalia - Calm has been restored at Beled-Hawo town Gedo after intensive fighting involving Jubaland forces and the Somali National Army, an incident which evoked emotions between the Horn of Africa nation and Kenya, whose diplomatic spat is likely to persist.

Preliminary reports indicated that close to eleven people mostly children were killed during the skirmishes which lasted for several hours on Monday, and which have been widely condemned by several countries, including the African Union.

On Tuesday, relative calmness had been restored in the region as SNA troops claimed victory in the latest battle which saw Somalia accusing Kenya of fuelling the rebellion in the Jubaland state, which closely works with authorities in Kenya.

Videos making rounds on social media showed fighters purportedly allied to Jubaland security minister Abdirashid Janan being frog-matched by security forces. But earlier, the Jubaland team had claimed victory, adding that the town was firmly in the control.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Somalia insisted that the fighters were equipped by Kenya, adding that the army battled with them before arresting hundreds of them who are now in the custody of the country's security forces.

"The federal government of Somalia can confirm illegal militia armed by Kenya crossed over the border and attacked Gedo. In particular, Baled-Hawo district. Our forces acted swiftly and diffused the threat," stated the statement.

"The federal government of Somalia condemns this illegal aggression planned and orchestrated in Kenya. These actions are an affront to peaceful coexistence and go international norms of mutual respect, territorial sovereignty, and integrity," it added.

The government has airlifted at least 20 people who were critically wounded in Monday's battle to Mogadishu for proper treatment.

Jubaland President Ahmed Madobe has been at loggerheads with President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo who he accuses of using the federal army to destabilize the region, a claim which Mogadishu has persistently denied.

GAROWE ONLINE

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