Somalia: Bihi says perpetrators behind soldiers deaths to face the law
HARGEISA, Somalia - Muse Bihi Abdi, the president of the breakaway region of Somaliland, insists the people behind the ambush of soldiers will face the law, adding that his administration will not tolerate violence, with an aim of causing mayhem and lawlessness.
Last week, armed rebels attacked government troops in Ga'an Libah Mountains, leaving nine police officers dead and injuring 17 others. On Sunday, Bihi attended the funeral service of the soldiers in Hargeisa, vowing that those responsible for the deaths would be prosecuted.
The people, he said, should be ready to defend Somaliland through dialogue, consultation, and integration, adding that parties should approach the upcoming elections through consensus. The opposition accuses Bihi of failing to honour the constitution by holding timely elections.
The rebellion is related to delaying elections, just at the time the government is also battling an insurgency in Las Anod town. The Las Anod violence left over 200 people dead and there an active investigations to establish if the two events are related.
Abdirahman Irro, the official leader of the opposition, condemned the deaths will distancing his party from the chaos. The rebels, he said, should embrace dialogue and negotiations to solve issues affecting the northern state of Somalia which has been battling for international recognition.
President Muse Bihi Abdi has been accused of delaying elections in the state, leading to violence that could further destabilize the region. The opposition accuses him of using excessive powers to quell demonstrations against his leadership.
Elections were supposed to be held in November 2022 but Bihi rescheduled the polls to November 2024, leading to uproar from the opposition and members of the public. Somaliland is fighting for international recognition but the United Nations Security Council maintains that is it still part of Somalia.