Somalia: Protest in Bosaso turns violent ahead of President Ali’s visit

Puntland

BOSASO, Puntland- Hundreds of protesters took to the streets of Bosaso city, the commercial hub of Puntland state on Wednesday to demonstrate against inflation and stopping the use of the Somali Shilling banknotes by local traders, Garowe Online reports.

The demonstration turned violent when protesters blocked roads and attempted to break business shops to complain about the circulation of fake Somali Shilling banknotes in the market.

Recently, business owners and traders have declared they will only accept U.S. Dollar banknotes instead of the local currency, a move which cause hyper-inflation of goods in the local market.

Labors at Bosaso Port and private drivers were reported also to go on strike, protesting against business owners’ decision to refuse accepting the local currency, saying ; “we have money but we can’t buy goods with it.”

Additionally, an exchange of gunfire was heard at the center of the city, as reports indicated a clash has sparked between the Police forces and Maritime Police forces.

The clash has resulted in the injury of the commander of forces at Bosaso Port, Mohamed Ali Hashi and two other soldiers. The injured were subsequently transferred to the hospital to receive medical treatment. GO reporter in Bosaso city said Hashi sustained minor injuries from the clash.

On the other hand, Puntland President Abdiwali Mohamed Ali “Gaas” is expected to reach Bosaso in the coming days, amid ongoing demonstration against inflation and circulation of fake Somali Shilling currency.

President Ali is scheduled to meet P&O Ports officials in Bosaso, the company that signed an agreement with Puntland government to modernize Bosaso Port. The agreement was endorsed by the state Parliament in last week. 

The violent protest comes following state-wide celebration for the 19th anniversary of establishment of Puntland state on 1st August 1998.

GAROWEONLINE