Somalia govt troops planning attack on Elwak after relocation of Garbaharey polls

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s government troops in Gedo region are planning an offensive on the town of Elwak where elections expected to be held in Garbaharey have been relocated by Jubaland authorities due to “security obstacles”, Caasimada Online news website reported on Saturday.

Most of the major cities in the region are under the control of military and intelligence forces loyal to Somali President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, who had earlier managed to keep authorities at bay from the region’s administrative capital and other towns.

Officials at the Somali presidency were quoted by Caasimada Online as saying that mobilization of troops was underway to disrupt anticipated elections in the town, which is manned by Kenyan peacekeepers and Jubaland regional forces.

Regional governor Ahmed Buulle Gareed has recently threatened that they would hold parallel elections in Garbaharey and would not accept the relocation of votes, which he describes as a violation of an agreement signed between Somali leaders in September 2020.

There were local media reports over the past weeks that the President and his allies were planning to deploy thousands of troops, who had completed training in Eritrea, to capture Elwak and foil attempts by Jubaland authorities to hold votes for 16 parliament seats there.

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