Farmajo accused of deploying SNA troops in opposition headquarters


MOGADISHU, Somalia - The council of presidential candidates in Somalia has yet again taken a swipe at President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, accusing him of sanctioning deployment of the Somali National Army [SNA] troops to some offices that host opposition parties in the country. 

For the better part of Thursday, the group of 14 presidential candidates said, security forces pitched tent in some of the buildings that host the opposition, but their intentions were not well known, further raising tensions in Somalia, which is set to hold elections. 

Before the deployment, security forces fired live bullets to disperse opposition protesters in Haantadheer near Ex-Control Afgooye area, besides closing major city roads, as hundreds of disgruntled opposition supporters thronged into the streets. 

This was the second time the team was protesting against the government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, which they accuse of "plotting to rig elections". The team protested early this week, accusing the government of installing NISA agents and civil servants as election committee members. 

Although the government denies the allegations, the opposition has taken issue with the latest development, slamming Farmajo of paralyzing businesses in Mogadishu, further calling for restraint in using security forces to antagonize civilians. 

"The council of presidential candidates union strongly condemns the deployment of troops to some of the candidates headquarters and the closure of roads in Mogadishu," read a statement by the opposition, which was issued on Thursday.

"We once again warn President Mohamed Abdullahi to refrain from using government forces to suppress the people and provoke opposition politicians," the team saud. "He will be responsible for provocations and incitement to violence that threatens the nation's security and that of presidential candidates."

The opposition also warned Farmajo on the consequences of the "provocation", adding that he must take full responsibility. It asked the SNA troops to "return to barracks" as part of maintaining professional discipline of the armed forces. 

Kani Torun, a former Turkish ambassador to Somalia, also warned President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo against "setting a bad precedence". His comments came just hours after the opposition also slammed Turkey for "trying to influence" the outcome of the country's elections..

"I hope President Mohamed Farmajo shows same maturity as President Sheikh Sharif and President Hassan Sheikh showed in 2012 and 2016 elections respectively. Somalia need compromise not confrontation," he said in a tweet. 

Amid the current impasse, the international community has been asking both parties to make compromise which is after all far from the reality. The country was set to commence the three-month electoral exercise this month but the process has been delayed due to the current quagmire. 


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