Stopping The Armed Conflict In Somalia (Mudug)

Stopping The Armed Conflict In Somalia (Mudug)

Year(s): 1993.

Location: Mudug, Somalia.

UN Regional Group: Africa.

Type of Conflict: Horizontal (non-state) Intrastate Conflict; Vertical (state-based) Intrastate Conflict with Foreign Involvement.

Type of Initiative: Mediation of a peace agreement.

Main Implementing Organisation(s): Local people and organisations.

Impact: Limited.

Summary: The peace agreement ended the fighting in the central province of Mudug, reducing armed conflict in the area and allowing supplies to cross Somalia, mitigating the impact of other conflicts.

Description of Case 

Mudug is an administrative region of Somalia located in the centre of the country, separating Puntland and Somaliland from Mogadishu and the rest of Somalia. This position makes it a vital crossroads for trade within Somalia (particularly to the northern ports on the Gulf of Aden) and with neighbouring Ethiopia. As such, armed conflict in Mudug has severe humanitarian implications for the entire region. After the fall of the regime in 1991, the city of Galkayo (the capital of Mudug) was attacked by troops of a faction of the United Somali Congress (USC), one of the powerful armed groups that had driven Barre from Mogadishu. Over 500 people were killed, with many more wounded or captured, in this act of ‘clan cleansing.’[1] The following year, as the various armed groups in Somalia consolidated their respective territorial strongholds, Mudug became the frontline between the USC and the SSDF. Frequent clashes occurred throughout 1992 (despite the short-lived UN-mediated ceasefire negotiated that year), stifling trade and the movement of aid.[2]

It was not until 1993, following extensive negotiations in Addis Ababa between the various armed factions in Somalia, that the prospect of stopping the fighting in Mudug was considered. Talks between the leaders of the Somali Salvation Democratic Front and the USC faction operating in Mudug (who had, incidentally, shared a prison cell during the Barre regime and knew each other well) along with 227 delegates from the relevant clans began on 28 May 1993, and culminated on the 3 June with the signing of the Mudug Peace Agreement. The agreement contained an immediate ceasefire, provisions for reparations and disarmament and demobilisation of some forces, stipulated the withdrawal of armed forces to a 70km buffer zone, and also established a technical committee composed of the signatories to monitor implementation and administer diyah payments.[3] Unusually, it also contended that any future fighting should avoid towns and tarmac roads, indicating a level of flexibility but also a shared understanding of the unique importance of Mudug. While many aspects of the agreement were not maintained for long, the signatories did not relapse into a major conflict and the de facto line of separation established in 1993 continues to be respected (for the most part) and has helped to shelter northern Somalia from conflict for almost three decades. In 2007, local and international NGOs campaigned to consolidate the 1993 agreement and maintain peace in Mudug with noteworthy success.[4]


[1] Lidwien Kapteijns. “Clan Cleasing in Somalia: The Ruinous Turn of 1991 (2013) interview with Reinventing Peace.” World Peace Foundation. (2013) Available at: (Accessed 29/10/2021)

[2] UCDP. SSDF – USC/SNA. (UCDP, 2021) Available at: (Accessed 29/10/2021)

[3] Mudug Peace Agreement, 1993. Available in: Ralph Johnstone, ed. Peacemaking at the Crossroads: Consolidation of the 1993 Mudug Peace Agreement. (Interpeace, 2006) pp.30-1

[4] Johnstone, ed. Peacemaking at the Crossroads. p.25