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    Southwest State and opposition leaders reach an agreement on the Baidoa conflict.

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    – The conflict in late December that left over 10 people dead in Baidoa has been resolved by the leaders of the Southwest regional states and opposition organizations.

    The first phase of the South West Reconciliation Conference was completed on Monday in Baidoa, the administrative center of the South West regional state, by Sheikh Adan Mohamed Nur Madobe, Speaker of the Lower House of Parliament.

    The two-week summit was started by the president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, and was attended by state leaders from the southwest regional states, opposition organizations, federal government officials, traditional elders, and religious leaders.

    A report from the conference’s technical committee and a committee selected by the cultural elders was given to speaker Madobe.

    Blood money was given to the relatives of the gunfight victims as part of the settlement, and Speaker Madobe personally handed it over. Also paid were those who had injuries or had their property damaged.

    On December 23, clashes between Southwest security forces and militia supporting local opposition candidates in Baidoa resulted in at least ten deaths. The fighting took place at the former federal finance minister Mohamed Adan Ibrahim Fargeti’s house, where the militia was gathered.

    Southwest state legislators said that the National Army Forces were being used to incite unrest in the region, and that the federal government was to blame for the conflict.

    A political impasse over whether Southwest President Abdiaziz Laftagareen’s term extension was valid gave rise to the violence. President Abdiaziz Laftagaren’s term was extended by the Southwest Parliament in 2019 by one year, bringing the end of his term’s tenure to December 19, 2023. The opposition, however, was against the president’s term extension.

    Ilyas Ali Noor, the Southwest’s Minister for Information, resigned from his cabinet position in protest a few days after the gunfight and accused Southwest President Abdiaziz Laftagren of disrespecting continuing peace efforts.

    The flare-up occurred while one of the worst drought-affected regions in the nation, Baidoa, the administrative center of Somalia’s South West state, was experiencing.

    Speaking on the start of the second part of the Southwest reconciliation meeting, which has not yet been planned, Lower House Speaker Sheikh Madobe stated that the battle against Al-Shabaab and maintaining political stability would be the main priorities.

     

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