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Somalia: Puntland calms currency devaluation protests


GAROWE, Somalia-Officials in Somalia’s North Eastern State of Puntland have calmed angry crowds down, asking protesters to open the doors for their businesses on Saturday, GaroweOnline reports. 

Fruit vendors and clothing accessories owners, mostly women staged a protest demonstration for the second day in the capital, Garowe, urging the government to step in for the unprecedented price hikes from the local currency becoming valueless. 

Nugal Governor Omar Abdullahi Faraweyne afterwards told the media that traders agreed to return to their stalls.

“We agreed that businesses be reopened, and complaints to be delivered to government for action,” said Faraweyne.  

On Thursday, Parliamentary Sub-Committee on Commerce Chairman, Mohamud Dhere, said, they were investigating the factors behind currency crisis.  

In September 2015, Puntland government began minting new paper notes at a cash factory in Bossaso port city in a bid to pay to disgruntled civil servants and security forces.  

Somalia Central Bank, the country’s highest monetary authority, which analysts say appears to be unable to regulate the flow of money in circulation, at the time criticized Puntland for contributing further to economic instability.

--‘Commander compares protestor intimidators to Al Shabaab’--     

Puntland Commandos Commander Col. Jimale Jama Takar has compared security forces breaking up protests by force to ‘Al Shabaab militants’ in harsh remarks over reports of torture. 

“Day and night, we stand for the people, and we don’t allow any harm on them. People are exercising their democratic rights to protest, so they should not be tortured and arrested,” said the security commander. 

He warned soldiers and their commanders in charge of future intimidations.

“If they don’t abandon this, then we will regard them as Al Shabaab, and feel obliged to confront them,” Takar added.


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