Puntland Accuses Somalia’s President of Defending Al-Shabaab


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – The northeastern semi-autonomous region of Puntland has accused Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of funding a smear campaign aimed at defending the Al-Qaeda-aligned militant group Al-Shabaab, which continues to wage an insurgency war in the Horn of Africa nation.

Regional president’s spokesman, commenting on a cartoon image created by Amin Amir, a popular Somali artist portraying 21 alleged Al-Shabaab members killed by Puntland troops this week as civilians and implicating regional president Saeed Deni in the execution, said the cartoon was part of a smear campaign against regional authorities funded by Somalia’s president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

“Everyone would know that this country has been saved from danger when they see the outgoing president funding cartoon image defending convicted and executed Al-Shabaab members,” Jama Daparani, a spokesman for Puntland’s president Saeed Deni tweeted on Thursday.

He added that the cartoon had been an understandable diffusion of disinformation about the executed 21 alleged Al-Qaeda-affiliate fighters.

Somalia’s federal government has not immediately commented on the claim, but it comes amid growing backlash over the execution of 21 men by Puntland authorities this week, some of whose families describe the move as unjust and assert that the men were not linked with militants

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