Roads in Somalia’s Capital Closed to Halt Army Advance on Presidential Palace


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Main roads in Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu have been closed on Saturday night to halt possible advance on the presidential palace by troops against the president’s decision to extend his term in office.

Somali national army members with over 100 military vehicles left their bases in the Middle Shabelle region and entered the capital, Mogadishu triggering fears over possible clashes.

The government deployed heavily armed troops at large numbers to districts close to the presidential residence and closed all main roads of the capital to traffic, in what security officials say is an attempt to prevent a possible march by the mutinying soldiers on the presidential compound.

In an attempt to calm the situation, the outgoing president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo dispatched the army chief General Odowa Yusuf Rageh, who met with Gen. Saney Abdulle and other military commanders leading the rebellious troops, though efforts to ensure that the soldiers return to their barracks have come to no avail.

The president told Mr Rageh to inform the leaders of the mutinous soldiers that he had reversed his decision to extend term in office to restore calm and prevent the troops from joining opposition forces controlling many neighborhoods in the northern and southern parts of Mogadishu.

Farmajo also ordered Hirshabelle regional leader Ali Gudlawe overnight to convince the troops to return to their bases and stop an advance on the capital but his attempts too have come to an abysmal failure.

Some of the troops have entered Karan district in Mogadishu while others made bases on the outskirts of the capital to bolster opposition forces against the president’s mandate extension move.

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