Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Somaliland clans in ceasefire over disputed farmland


Medeshi
Somaliland clans in ceasefire over disputed farmland
KALABAIDH, 20 May 2009 - Two clans in Somaliland's Elberdale farmland in Gabiley region, who have fought intermittently in the past five months over disputed farmland, have agreed a ceasefire, a mediator said.
(Photo: Abdirahman Warsame, a member of the mediation committee seeking to reconcile the two clans)
Abdirahman Warsame, a member of the Somaliland's Guurti mediation committee, told IRIN on 17 May that 25 elders from each clan had sworn to end fighting and to reconcile the two clans.
However, talks aimed at resolving the dispute, which started in mid-April between the Hared and the Nour clans, are ongoing in Kalabait.
The government sent military and police troops to Elberdale last month in a bid to stop the fighting.
On 14 May, elders visited patients admitted to hospital in Gabiley and Dila areas who had been injured in previous fighting over the Elberdale farmland.
"We went to Gabiley Hospital and to Dila Hospital to see all those who were injured in the conflict; we also ascertained the number of those who have died," Aden Elabe, one of the elders, told IRIN.
Elabe said the team of elders also visited areas where farmers from Elberdale had fled, such as Geed Diqsi, Jaldhabaha, Satile and Da'walay, to reassure them the conflict would be resolved.
However, local officials have expressed concern over farmers missing the present planting season.
Elabe Mohamoud Hufane, the mayor of Dila district in Awdal region, said: "This is the season when farmers grow sorghum and maize but here in Dila district, we have more than 120 families who fled the conflict in early April and are yet to return to their farms in Burdi and Geed Diqsi areas."

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