At least five soldiers were killed and more than a dozen people, mostly civilians, were wounded in violent protests over the failure of the country to hold its presidential election on 08 February.
The chaos, it was gathered, occurred hours after Somalia’s government and opposition leaders said gunfire erupted overnight near the presidential palace.
As a result of the election delay, some citizens have called on President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo to step down.
Acting U.S. Ambassador Richard Mills said the political violence over the failure to hold election could make the country regress deeper into instability.
For her part, the Managing Director of the EU External Action Service, Rita Laranjinha, warned that the failure to reach agreement on how to conduct election was a risk for Somalia, and if not addressed urgently will become a risk to regional security.
Head of the AU mission in Somalia, Francisco Madeira, called for restraint from acts that can escalate tension and lead to further violence.
There are more than ten candidates for Somalia’s indirect presidential election, in which four big clans and other minority tribes choose members of parliament that will decide the country’s next head of state.
But the opposition candidates have accused President Faramaajo of bypassing the electoral law by stacking the poll committee with his allies.
Source: Radio Shabelle
Photo source: AMISON Public Information