Somalia’s opposition is demanding new protests in Mogadishu next Friday
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The union of Somalia’s presidential candidates promised to continue protesting over the delayed election, it has emerged, just days after soldiers cracked a whip on protesters on Friday, killing five in addition to dozens of injuries.
Andidats, who have demanded the resignation of outgoing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, now say their supporters will be on the streets on February 26 because they are pressuring Farmajo, which they accuse, among other things, of failing to implement the September 17 pre-election agreement. .
Last week’s protests were quenched by government forces accused of excessive violence, leading to screams from around the world. A number of international partners have asked both parties to refrain from acts of violence.
At the Jazeera Hotel on Monday, the council of presidential candidates led by former President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed told reporters that the government could not stop people from protesting legally and said they would continue the protests to force Farmaajo out of office.
Sharif, however, distanced the opposition from the remarks of former military commander Yusuf Indha-Ade, who claimed last week that his people had taken control of the country until a new government was formed. He noted that the former SNA General’s comments do not reflect the views of the opposition.
Last week, the federal government apparently banned protests due to increasing COVID-19 cases in and around the capital, but candidates believe the measure was intended to limit planned demonstrations, aimed at pushing for timely elections in the country.
Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Khaire, who led protesters on Friday along with Wadajir party leader Abdirahman Abdishakur, said the attack was an attempted political assassination. The government has denied allegations that it targeted politicians through the military.
Abdishakur called on the international community to “watch and ignore the brutal events of February 19 in Mogadishu.” Opposition candidates and international partners unanimously condemned the violence.
Opposition leaders praised Northeastern State and Jubaland for refusing to participate in election talks with Farmaajo in Mogadishu. Villa Somalia questioned the opposition’s description of the events and accused the opposition’s figures of calling for an armed uprising against the federal government.
The comments come less than a day after the Council of Presidential Candidates wrote to the UN Security Council asking them to intervene and force President Farmajo out of office. The Security Council is expected to meet and discuss Somalia’s development on Monday at 18.00 East Africa time.