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Prime Minister Mohamed Roble has urged civilians who fled their neighbourhoods during the fighting to return home.

Somalia’s president has moved to ease tensions in the capital, Mogadishu, by calling for fresh presidential polls.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmajo, has said he will no longer seek a two-year extension to his term in office.

 

He had controversially approved the move last week after disagreements over how to hold elections.

But it provoked three days of clashes in Mogadishu between rival factions of the security forces.

There are fears the row could see Somalia lurch back towards the clan-based violence that scarred the country after the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohamed Roble has urged civilians who fled their neighbourhoods during the fighting to return home.

Up to 100,000 people are estimated to have fled their homes since Sunday

Forces loyal to the president and those backing the opposition have been occupying different parts of the city.

The UN says between 60,000 and 100,000 people have left their homes since Sunday.

 

President Farmajo’s late-night address on Tuesday has not appeased everyone and some opposition fighters have vowed to stand their ground, saying they remain wary of his promises.

 

“The reaction from civil society and opposition groups in Mogadishu suggests that they welcome the retreat but everything else that brought us to the brink of civil war remains,” Somali academic Abdi Samatar, from the University of Minnesota, told BBC Focus on Africa radio.

 

“It does not advance the negotiation process any further than we’ve been engaged in over the last three or four months,” he warned.

Source: BBC

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