Fresh troops airlifted to Somalia’s Baladweyne town ahead of Fahad Yasin’s arrival


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Planes carrying fresh troops landed in the central Somalia town of Baladwayne ahead of the arrival of former spy chief Fahad Yasin whose alleged attempts to occupy a parliament seat by force had triggered renewed dispute between election officials.

It comes a day after Turkish-trained troops, who had been deployed to the town weeks earlier, shot dead the commander of police in Baladweyne following a dispute over detainees held in the city’s main prison.

An aircraft carrying delegates, who will take part in a vote for Mr Yasin, also landed at Ugas Khalif airport on the outskirts of Baladweyne on Friday. They are due to choose him inside a heavily fortified base housing AMISOM troops in the airfield in an election scheduled for Sunday despite a delay to the vote announced by the electoral board on Thursday night.

A rival candidate said this week that Fahad Yasin had prepared soldiers who would serve as delegates to participate in the election for HOP086 and accused Hirshabelle authorities of aiding him in his attempts to rig the process in his favor. The former spy boss and his allies earlier excluded dozens of former MPs from elections and some were blocked from traveling to their constituencies.

Mr Yasin, Qatar and President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed’s ally, is expected to arrive in Baladwayne within the next 48 hours ahead of an election scheduled for Sunday.

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