Zooming into the Past

Wardhiigley: Gaalkacyo is in the Hands of the USC

 USC Rebel Group Claims Control over Gaalkacyo

London BBC World Service in English 1615 GMT 16 Nov 89

[From the “Focus on Africa” program]

With the rebel group which is active in central Somalia, around Gaalkacyo, where the defecting soldiers were stationed, is the United Somali Congress, USC. They say they know what has been happening in the region. On the line, Idriss Hasan asked the USC’s president, Ali Mohamed Ossoble (Ali Wardhiigley), what the situation was at Gaalkacyo:

[(Wardhiigley)] I am very happy to tell you that Gaalkacyo, the capital city of Mudug, has fallen also to the mutineers of the former Siyaad Barre soldiers to the United Somali Congress.

[Hasan] Are you saying that Gaalkacyo is now in the hands of the...

[(Wardhiigley)j, interrupting] Gaalkacyo now, as I received it just a few hours ago, is in the hands of the United Somali Congress. (? Several) persons who received it [words indistinct] as he told me.

[Hasan] When did the fight for Gaalkacyo begin?

[(Wardhiigley)] Well, this fighting has been going on for 20 days. It was from (Gelinsoor) to Beledweyne. Now, it went down to (Buuloburde) and it went up to the fighting for Gaalkacyo, the Division of Gaalkacyo. Two-thirds of the division joined the Somali Congress.

[Hasan] But is it not the case that the tribal groups around Gaalkacyo are fighting among themselves, and not the USC people against the government.

[(Wardhiigley)] There is no tribal conflict now, and the people are peacefully living there. Most of the fighters now are the rebels – the mutineers of the former soldiers.

[Hasan] As you know, the SNM [Somali National Move­ment] have claimed that they are the ones fighting in the area and not the USC, as you claim.

[(Wardhiigley)] Well, it is not true. We will want to cooperate with the SNM, put together our forces. But now, as the USC started the fighting in the southern region, the SNM and sister organizations fought in the northern region, and we are heading [words indistinct]. [end recording]

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