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US Calls on Djibouti to Release Opposition Leaders

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The United States has condemned recent acts of violence in the Horn of Africa nation of Djibouti and called for the immediate release of opposition leaders who have been detained.

Opposition activists in Djibouti said as many as 19 people were killed on Monday in the capital, when security forces opened fire on a religious gathering. A reporter for VOA in Djibouti said more than 10 people were wounded in addition to those killed.

In a statement released late Wednesday, the U.S. State Department urged Djibouti’s government to respect the rights of its citizens to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly and association. It called on the government to engage in dialogue to prevent further violence and resume talks to ensure peaceful and transparent presidential elections in 2016.

The government of Djibouti says security forces opened fire after being attacked by an armed group of people.

In a statement Monday, Minister of the Interior Hassan Omar Mohamed said, “Dozens of armed individuals came together before launching an offensive against the security forces.” The statement said nine security personnel were wounded, including an officer, but it did not mention any deaths resulting from the clash.

The minister said the violence was an “act intended to destabilize our nation” and was “orchestrated by malicious individuals receiving instructions from sponsors who act from abroad.”

Mohamed’s statement said several suspects had been arrested in connection with Monday’s incident.

Deputy opposition leader Omar Elmi Khayre told VOA’s Somali Service that civilians were celebrating at the religious event when police and gendarmes attacked the crowd. He said some of those targeted were opposition supporters.

Police chief Abdullahi Abdi confirmed the raid to VOA, saying the police were hunting those responsible for the earlier violence.

Djibouti, a small country on the east coast of Africa, has been dominated by the People’s Rally for Progress party since the late 1970s. The party now rules the country as part of the Union for Presidential Majority coalition.

Source:voa

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Somaliland Head To Polls For Councillors And MPs On May 31, 2021 Last updated May 31, 2021

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Waxaa Qoray

Voters in the self-proclaimed republic of Somaliland are heading to the polls on May, 31 to choose their member of parliament for the first time since 2005.

Somaliland broke off from mainland Somalia after the regime of Siad Barre in 1991.

The 5.2 Million citizens of Somaliland will be making yet another stab at global recognition as some 1.3 million voters head to the polls to choose 82 members of parliament and 247 local councils.

An election whose measure of democracy Somaliland hopes to use in its quest to certify its sovereignty.

Somaliland’s three political parties in the polls are opposition politicians Faisal Warabe’s UCID, Wadani led by another opposition leader Abdirahman Erye and President Muse Bihi Kulmiye party.

The elections is observed by over a hundred international observers including Uganda’s former opposition leader, Kizza Besigye and ex-president of Sierra Leone, Ernest Bai Korma.

”Our visit to the headquarters of the Somaliland National Electoral Commission left us with a good impression about the Commission’s preparedness to conduct peaceful and credible elections,” said in a Twitter post.

The elections are taking place in six regions of Somaliland, namely Awdal, Sahil, Marodi-Jeeh, Toghdeer, Sanaag and Sool.

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3 Somalia Regional States Say No To Farmaajo Term Extension.

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Waxaa Qoray

The regional state leaders of Southwest, HirShabelle, and Galmudug allied with incumbent President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo have opposed to any form of extension on Tuesday evening.

In a joint statement Galmudug and HirShabelle called for dialogue based on 17 September pact.

“We agreed that the country should hold elections as soon as possible and that any form of extension should be abolished,” read part of the joint statement by HirShabelle and Galmudug.

Southwest leader Abdiaziz laftagaren also opposed the term extension of the President just an hour after Galmudug and HirShabelle released a joint statement.

The move by the three regional states allied to President was welcomed by Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble who also instructed the military commanders to pull back forces to their locations and barracks.

“I would like to welcome the press statements made by Galmudug and HirShabelle federal states, ” PM Roboe said in a statement.

“I call on the FMS states of Puntland and Jubaland and Benadir region to fully commit to a peaceful process in our efforts to hold free and inclusive election, ” he added.

United Nations, United Kingdom, United States and opposition leaders including former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud commended the move by the regional states.

“The UN in Somalia noting statements by Qoorqqor, Ali Gudlawe, PM Roble and others recalls int’l partners position: consensus is vital for any electoral process; only 17 September model can be endorsed by FGS and all FMS; all parties must reject violence and resume dialogue, ” the United Nations said.

The development comes as families in some parts of Mogadishu fleed from their residences and moved to other district followings clashes.

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Somali Gov’t Warns Al-Shabaab & ISIS Will Capitalize On SNA Faction Clashes.

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Waxaa Qoray

Somali National Security Minister Hassan Hundubey has warned opposition groups to be wary of “unknown elements” including Al-Shabaab and Daesh who might seek to use the current crisis to inflict harm to the public.

Speaking to the media on Tuesday said that the government may take action to confront people with the “behaviour of militias” who are taking advantage of the situation.

“The government has enough troops to take control of the city. It is Ramadan, but more actions need to be taken to prevent it.” mr. Hundebey said.

”The reason the prime minister called for dialogue is that the government does not want the fighting to affect the residence,” he added.

The remarks by the interior minister come hours after the international partners strongly condemned the outbreak of violence in the capital.

“We are alarmed especially by the emerging fragmentation of the Somali National Army along clan lines, which detracts from its primary task of combating Al Shabab and protecting the Somali population. Use of security forces for the pursuit of political objectives is unacceptable” the statement read in part.

As tensions increase in Mogadishu following Sunday clashes between government soldiers and those who were against President Farmaajo’s two years term extension.

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