MOGADISHU, Somalia -The African Union Commission chief Friday said he is “deeply concerned” at the deteriorating security and political situation in Somalia’s capital Mogadishu, which he said puts at risk all the gains made in Somalia in the last decade.
“We condemn all forms of violence and call on Somali stakeholders to refrain from acts that might jeopardize peace and security in the country, and to work together to find a consensual solution that will break the current political stalemate,” African Union Commission Chairman Moussa Faki Mahamat said in a statement.
He urged the Somali leadership and the entire Somali political class to act in the interests of Somalia as a whole, rather than following narrow partisan political interests.
The people of Somalia have suffered for too long, and the current violence poses a serious threat to the ongoing Somali transition plan, he added.
His remarks came after Somali security forces and opposition leaders’ guards clashed near Somalia’s presidential palace in Mogadishu earlier on Friday.
Security sources told Anadolu Agency that the fighting near the presidential palace killed at least four people, including soldiers, and wounded three others. Paramedic sources told Anadolu Agency that one civilian was injured in the clashes.
Meanwhile, the US Embassy in Mogadishu issued a security alert, calling on its citizens to avoid crowds and keep a low profile.
The embassy statement, citing unconfirmed reports, said over 20 people were killed or injured in the Mogadishu clashes.