Somalia: Govt deploys more troops to Galmudug ahead of election
MOGADISHU, Somalia – The Federal Government of Somalia says it has deployed additional troops to the central city of Dhusamareb to bolster security ahead of Galmudug state elections, Garowe Online reports.
Two planes carrying hundreds of police personnel landed in the city’s airstrip in the past 48 hours amid tension brewing between the Federal troops and local armed militia belonging to the powerful Sufi group, Ahlu Sunna.
Mogadishu-based Somali government argues that the police and intelligence officers were sent to the town to ensure security during the election days. Galmudug's presidential election is shaping up to be a two-horse race.
"It seems this is exactly what happened in Baidoa city last year, where police shot dead 15 civilians during violence ahead of Southwest regional election which was largely interfered by Somali Government," said a political analyst.
Galmudug state has been engulfed in political bickering since President Ahmed Dualle Geelle Haf termed a botched impeachment by lawmakers in September 2017 as “illegal”.
The political limbo largely blamed on the central government, which of late, has been busy replacing Federal States leaders seen as a threat to its plan to retain power in next year's polls.
The Somali government is said to be in favour of candidate Ahmed Abdi Kaariye “Qoor-qoor, competing against the former Minister and now MP, Abdirahman “Odowa” from Union for Peace and Development (UPD) party.
A bitter rivalry is simmering between the Somalia government and Ahlu Sunna which accused Mogadishu of advancing its personal interests by usurping the powers and role of Galmudug ahead of upcoming elections.
Last week, Galmudug chief of cabinet, Sheikh Mohamed Shakir named a technical committee to spearhead the forthcoming election, turning down the 13-member electoral body named by Somalia's Interior Ministry.