Insurgent troops capture central Somalia amid an administrative dispute

MOGADISHU, Somalia –The situation in central Somalia is getting worse following the recent takeover of Baladwayn, an ancient town in Shabelle Valley, Hirshabelle state, in the central part of the troubled nation.

According to reports from the Baladwayne district in the Hiran region, the Hiran Salvation Forces [HSF], led by Colonel Abdullahi Elmi Barre, willhave the coming days on the 5th onthe 5th.

District administration offices were also held on various streets in the city center as anti-local government protests. The protesters accused the local administration of negligence. The villagers (partly armed) protested massively in the city, underlining their opposition to the HirShabelle government: “We will make sacrifices for the defense of this city,” said the commander of the armed forces that control the city.

It is not the first time mutinous troops have taken a town in central Somalia due to alleged poor performance by the regional administration. These militias accuse the government not only of giving up their duties, but also of failing to provide essentials in the event of a disaster.

According to other reports, HirShabelle chairman Ali Gudlawe Hussein was due to visit the city on Monday. Gudlawe Hussein is a close ally of incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo and did not come to power until October 2020.

The opposition has often accused him of working hard to protect the outgoing government from a possible defeat in the upcoming elections. The security expert believes the events in the Hiran area are signs that the Farmaajo card is disrupting elections in the country.

Everyone involved has already agreed on the right framework for the postponed parliamentary elections. “Hirshabelle was the last trump card for Farmaajo, with the aim of suspending the elections.

By forging a fragile power-sharing agreement a few months before the general election, Farmaajo ensured that responses were clouded by violence, “he said as a result of the hasty federalization process in 2014-2016 created to advance the electoral interests of the former outgoing president “, he adds.

Somalia is also grappling with al-Shabaab militants who seek to overthrow the fragile, United Nations-backed government that was first formed in 2012. Al-Shabaab controls large parts of rural central and southern Somalia.


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