MOGADISHU, Somalia – The President of the Federal Republic of Somalia Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo says he held phone talks with the President of the breakaway region of Somaliland, Muse Bihi to express his sadness after a massive fire tore through the main market in the city of Hargeisa in northern Somalia.
President Farmajo expressed the Federal Government of Somalia’s commitment to assist those who lost their livelihoods to the fire at Waheen market in Hargeisa.
Farmajo also called on Somalis to mobilize and extend a helping hand to their brothers and sisters who lost their livelihoods.
“We stand with the business people who lost properties in the fire with support and prayers, I urge Somalis to mobilize to give support to their brothers,” he said.
For his part, President Muse Bihi thanked the President of the Federal Republic of Somalia for his commitment to support the traders who lost their property.
Images posted on social media showed flames and huge billowing clouds of smoke in the night sky over the city of Hargeisa.
The cause of the blaze that gutted the sprawling Waheen market – the lifeblood of the city and home to an estimated 2,000 shops and stalls – is not yet known.
Somaliland president Muse Bihi Abdi said during a visit to Waheen that about 28 people, nine of them women, were injured, but so far no loss of life had been reported.
He said the government would be releasing one million dollars to help with the emergency response to the disaster.
The vast market is a crowded warren of shops and makeshift stalls, with no proper streets, only narrow pathways.
Mareeg Online and AFP