Security tight in Somaliland capital ahead of anti-government protest


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Security forces in the break-away state of Somaliland deployed in large numbers on the streets of Hargeisa on Sunday ahead of an opposition-called protest against alleged attempts by President Muse Bihi Abdi to delay an upcoming presidential vote.

Police detained the owner of a cafeteria where opposition leaders met on Saturday, though prosecutors later ordered his release. A journalist who returned from the Somali capital Mogadishu was also arrested after landing at the city’s airport, joining the list of three other media professionals in region’s prisoners.

On Saturday, the leader of Waddani opposition party Abdirahman Abdillahi Irro said he would lead a peaceful march against the government’s efforts to postpone the upcoming election and called on his supporters to brave gunfire. read more

Somaliland leader Muse Bihi Abdi, whose administration has been accused of heavy-handed rule, and the opposition, which won majority in last year’s parliamentary polls, have been at loggerheads over the vote slated for Nov 13. Bihi insists that all parties must be dissolved to pave the way for the race of political associations while opposition demands the conduct of presidential vote on its due date.

Members of the electoral commission announced their resignation last week, triggering barbed accusations traded by both the government and opposition, with each side blaming the other for the disbandment of election officials.

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