Heavy Military Buildup in Somalia’s Baladwayne Town

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Heavily armed forces against Hirshabelle regional administration took over parts of the town of Baladwayne in central Somalia’s Hiran region and entered government buildings on Sunday night, prompting fears over clashes amid simmering tensions over planned visit by regional president.

Hirshabelle president Ali Gudlawe was expected to travel by a helicopter to the town he has been unable to visit since he had been elected to office last year, but heavily armed members of the army and clan militias with a number of military vehicles seized key government buildings in an attempt to prevent him from arriving in the town.

Regional authorities have been deploying troops in the town over the past weeks to quell threats from militias loyal to a former army officer, General Abukar Hud, who earlier threatened that his fighters would disrupt the upcoming polls.

The town has seen heavy military buildup on Monday, just hours after protests against Hirshabelle administration took place on Sunday night, with pro-government forces still holding parts of the restive town.

The federal government and Hirshabelle authorities have not immediately commented on the situation in Baladwayne ahead of a crucial vote regional authorities are planning to hold.

Contact us: info@somaliguardian.com


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