“Dizzying Mutiny Unfolds in Somalia as Frustrated Puntland Soldiers Demand Long-Overdue Salaries”

Catastrophic news has come out of Somalia where yet again, soldiers from Puntland state have risen in mutiny due to their failure to be paid salaries and allowances. Eyewitnesses report that this action comes just a week after a similar disgraceful conduct was reported in the southern part of the Federal State of Somalia which is gradually becoming the base of lawlessness. Dozens of armed soldiers were spotted brandishing military vehicles and even blocked traffic in the eastern part of Garowe. This temporary halt brought activities along the busy Garowe-Bosaso highway which leads to the commercial capital of Bosaso, to a standstill. The unrest arose after one soldier disclosed that Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni had diverted money supposedly meant for salaries to election campaigns despite the fact that his term will be elapsing within the next eight months. However, reports suggest that the regional leader is keen to extend his term, further fanning the flames of instability. Alarming reports indicate that the election campaigns have persisted despite the fact that most civil servants and security officers are yet to be paid with records indicating that the state received shareable revenue and donor funds which are meant to clear workers. To exacerbate matters, the administration has remained quiet over these recent challenges. If it weren’t enough, the beleaguered Deni faces criticism from both opposition parties and the federal government. Meanwhile, trouble continues to brew as the opposition has boycotted elections claiming opaqueness from the government. Deni refuses to back down and remains adamant that the local council elections will be held from May 24th this year. Things have come to a head with recent unsavory events, such as the irritated soldiers who held a mutiny in Galkayo, closing down a checkpoint over unpaid dues. Despite quick action taken by the administration to fumigate the situation, it is clear this is a critical situation that requires delicate handling. Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre criticized the Puntland administration stating that “today, Puntland is not where it should be in Somalia’s state-building” which has prompted Deni to prepare a rebuttal for his own defense and the administration of Puntland. This is a highly concerning matter and President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has also warned against Deni’s lackluster participation in federal affairs. It seems that the ongoing cases of soldiers staging mutiny over unpaid salaries or lack of confidence in leaders who are in power are not a new phenomenon in Somalia. This adds to a sense of perplexity and frustration felt across the whole country.

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