Astonishing News: Pilots Cease Flights as Three Soldiers Perish in Close Proximity to Garowe Airport!

On Tuesday May 16, 2023, an unfortunate and devastating incident occurred in Garowe (AX), leaving many stunned. Reports suggest that three Puntland navy soldiers lost their lives, and approximately ten others sustained injuries during a clash between Puntland forces and tribal militias near the airport. The confrontation seems to have emerged between security forces responsible for guarding election materials and ballot boxes, and clan militias opposing the upcoming local elections. The direct local council elections are expected to happen on January 8, 2024.

This incident has left Puntland officials suspicious of opposition politicians supporting the clan militia forces despite the administration’s effort to tighten security measures. As a consequence of security concerns, airlines suspended flights to Garowe on Tuesday, exacerbating an already convoluted situation.

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Prime Minister Hamza emphasized last week that the federal government wouldn’t accept any electoral process that could harm Puntland. While acknowledging the right to participate in free and fair elections, he emphasized that they should be conducted in a way that ensures Puntland’s stability. However, Puntland state leaders insist on having one-person, one-vote elections, leading to boycotts by opposition figures such as former Somali Prime Minister and ex-Puntland President Abdiwali Gas and former Puntland President Abdirahman Farole. They accuse President Deni of mismanagement and fraudulent practices.

The situation in Mudug has also left Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni with a lot to consider. Deni recently had to apologize to the people and intellectuals of the Mudug region for the failure in handling the lower house seats’ election in their constituencies. During a special meeting with Islam Bashir Islam Abdulle and other traditional elders, President Deni expressed his apologies for not letting traditional elders participate in electing their representatives in the federal parliament. However, most federal lawmakers elected from Puntland were President Said Deni’s close allies, including members of his cabinet and the political organization KAAH.

With the Mudug region’s elders warning Deni against conducting an election that fails to satisfy all stakeholders during the meeting, the situation in Puntland remains complex and unpredictable.

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