Farmaajo deploys troops in Beletweyne as tension over contested elections builds up

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Saturday January 9, 2021

BELEDWEYNE (HMC) – The Federal Government has deployed the military in Beletweyne following unrest in the central Somalia town sparking fears of possible clash with a factional militia group there.

Two planes carrying the Turkish trained Haram’aad Forces landed in Beletweyne Saturday morning with sources noting they will be distributed within the restive town.

 

The deployment comes a day after newly elected HirShabelle leader Ali Gudlaawe travelled to Mogadishu for talks with President Mohamed Farmaajo. Gudlaawe was fronted by Farmaajo leading to protests in Hiiraan region.

 

Leaders and the public in Hiiraan have protested the election of Gudlaawe accusing the Federal Government of ignoring a rotational agreement which would have handed the chance to Hiiraan.

A factional militia led by former military general Abukar Hud has threatened to push for a breakaway of Hiiraan region from HirShabelle State. At least four people were injured last month in ensuing protests in Beletweyne.

The Federal Government has variously been accused of using foreign trained troops for political gain.

The deployment of US trained forces in Gedo region last February attracted rebuke from the international community including the US which demanded withdrawal.

Farmaajo is yet to withdraw the Gedo based troops whose stay there has become an electoral issue with Jubbaland which has made the withdrawal a condition for elections in the border region.