Somalia Denies Gun Attack on Ex-president’s Convoy Was Assassination Bid


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – The government of Somalia’s outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo has denied that a gun attack on former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud’s convoy in Mogadishu on Wednesday was an assassination bid.

Somali Minister of Justice Abdikadir Mohamed Nur said it was an “accident” that security forces at a checkpoint in Hamarwayne district fired on the former president’s vehicle and not an intentional act.

A committee tasked with establishing an investigation into the incident was named and the chief of the custodial corps, whose troops were behind the shooting, will lead efforts to probe the gun attack, the minister noted.

The government has not condemned the shooting, which is feared to exacerbate tensions just a week after Somalia’s leaders agreed to hold free and fair polls within two months.

“Those found responsible for the accident will be brought before justice and we will try to prevent such a mistake from repeating itself,” Somali minister of justice added.

Bodyguards of the former president did not respond to the gun attack, which has prevented a possible clash at one of the busiest roads in the city. Opposition figures described the assault as a “provocation” aimed at weakening efforts by the prime minister to hold elections agreeable to all sides involved in the current political crisis.

It was the third attack by security forces against Hassan Sheikh Mohamud since outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo’s term in office ended in February. Troops attacked a hotel where he and the current chair of opposition council Sharif Sheikh Ahmed were staying and weeks later stormed his residence.

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