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Somalia: A fierce Farmajo critic says he wants to return home

By The Standard , Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya - Self-exiled Somali opposition leader Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame has said he plans to return to Mogadishu this month to mark the first anniversary of his arrest.

Warsame said he intended to hold a big rally in the Somali capital, which will also be used to honor five of his bodyguards who were killed as security agencies arrested him on December 19 last year.

The politician was arrested after a fierce fight between his guards and government security officers who were acting under a search warrant order on his home that led to the death of the politician's four guards and driver.

“I am a leader of the party that opposed the federal government. I was attacked by more than 20 security officers who killed my five bodyguards. We are going to hold a peace rally to commemorate this day and pay honor to the fallen men,” he said.

In an exclusive interview with The Standard in Nairobi, the former presidential candidate - who was released after spending a few days in prison - said he would not relent. “(Intelligence officers) didn’t produce one single evidence in court. They just wanted to malign my name but the court ordered that I be released,” Abdishakur said about his alleged treason.

He was accused of receiving money from foreign countries to destabilize Somalia, which has been characterized by sectarian wars since the fall of dictator Siad Barre in the 1990s.

The opposition leader has accused the government of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed of seeking to return the country to the dark old days. “It is a new phenomenon in Somali since 1991.

It is a totally new approach by the current government which brings back memories of Siad Barre,” he said.

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