Somalia: ISIS closes commercial centers in Bosaso over extortion money
BOSASO, Somalia - In a chilling development, Bosaso, the thriving business center of Puntland, has now succumbed to the control of the notorious terrorist groups, ISIS and Al-Shabaab. With a strong foothold in one of the mountainous areas of the Bari region, these extremist factions are relentlessly extorting money from the local businessmen, paralyzing the economic heartbeat of the city.
Several construction equipment companies, including Omaar, Horseed, and Tawfiq, have been forced to close doors in recent days following failed negotiations with ISIS. Meanwhile, Garowe Online has obtained information that reveals that businesses complying with the extortion demands continue to operate as usual, but under a shadow of constant fear.
In a desperate cry for help, the city's businessmen convened a meeting with the administration of the Bari region yesterday. They expressed their deep frustrations over tripled tax payments, despite receiving no corresponding services from the government. Furthermore, they articulated the alarming challenges they face at the hands of Daesh, such as the substantial extortion money being demanded, all while feeling abandoned by a government failing to ensure their protection.
Daesh's ruthlessness knows no bounds, as they have commanded companies that have been closed for a week to pay sums between $300,000 and $500,000. The terror that grips these businesses is palpable, with the ever-present fear of a violent attack if they fail to comply with these outrageous demands.
Meanwhile, the outgoing president of Puntland, Saeed Deni, has drawn sharp criticism for his perceived abandonment of the security crisis, as he travels to the United Arab Emirates without government officials' accompaniment. Security experts express growing concern that Deni appears to have given up on managing the deteriorating security situation, focusing instead on preparing for a potentially one-sided election.
In June this year, Multiple businesses have been forced to close due to threats from the terrorist group ISIS while political intrigue unfolds at the state level. [Read here].
The situation in Bosaso has reached a critical and precarious juncture, leaving the local community in a state of despair and the broader region on edge. The dire circumstances call for urgent intervention, solid leadership, and a unified front against the forces that threaten to unravel the social and economic fabric of the city.