MPs Flee Baladwayne Town as Tensions Escalate


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Members of Somalia’s parliament, who have been in the town of Baladwayne in central Somalia’s Hiran region over the past days, have fled to the capital Mogadishu after their stay stirred a local agitation and efforts to press for a visit by Hirshabelle president Ali Gudlawe to the town backfired, Caasimada Online website reported on Wednesday.

Among the MPs, who have returned to Mogadishu, are Abdirisak Ahmed Mohamed (Jindi) and Abdirisak Omar Mohamed. They traveled to Baladwayne in a bid to facilitate a trip by the regional president to the town, but their attempts came to no avail and sparked protests held by residents against the move.

Mutinous troops moved from Lama-galay military barracks and swept into government buildings in the west of the administrative capital of central Somalia’s Hiran region on Monday night.

Former Education Minister Abdullahi Godah Barre, who comes from the region, earlier said the mutinous troops would deport members of Hirshabelle adminstration and MPs sent from the capital Mogadishu.

Tensions have been building up in the town over the past weeks and a faction of the army and clan militias loyal to former military officer General Abukar Hud vowed to prevent a possible trip by Hirshabelle president to the town.

Al Gudlawe was elected as Hirshabelle president in November last year  and has since been unable to arrive in the town of Baladwayne where forces against his administration continue to gain strength.

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