Somalia’s Southwest state leader plays down opposition threats


MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – President of Somalia’s Southwest state Abdiasis Laftagaren on Monday played down threats against his regime after armed opposition groups sprang up in the region.

Laftagaren said an armed opposition group that dubbed itself “the Salvation of Army of Southwest State” won’t be able to operate in Baidoa and the entire region.

“There is nothing called the Salvation of Southwest State, anyone who wants to save Southwest should fight Al-Shabaab which controls the region,” President of Southwest State Abdiasis Laftagaren said.

“The parliament has the responsibility for term extension and we will endorse parliament decision tomorrow,” he added.

The President said “an angry person won’t change the direction of our laws and governance”, in an apparent reference to opposition politicians supported by the Somali federal government.

Over the past weeks, there have been reports that Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and his team were working to oust the leaders of Southwest and Jubaland states.

In a meeting with Mohamud, Puntland leader urged him to withdraw support to opposition groups against Laftagaren, though the Somali President rebuffed the request, leading to the collapse of talks.

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