MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s security forces have on Thursday surrounded the homes of several opposition leaders in the capital Mogadishu amid speculations about their participation in anti-government protests planned to sweep through the city.
The residences of opposition presidential candidates Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, Sharif Sheikh Ahmed and Abdirahman Abdishakur were encircled by heavily members of Haram’ad police unit (cheetah unit), a day after opposition urged Turkey not to send a shipment of weapons and ammunition it had initially planned to deliver to the special operations police battalion, trained and equipped by Turkish military.
Troops were also deployed at opposition headquarters near the city’s international airport, triggering the ire of government critics in what presidential candidates running against the incumbent leader say is a dramatic rise in provocative actions against them and efforts aimed at stifling the public.
In a statement, opposition presidential candidates condemned the move and called on the incumbent president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo to refrain from using security forces to smother residents in Mogadishu and scale up provocations against candidates challenging him in the upcoming elections.
The government has not immediately commented on the reports that the residences of opposition leaders were surrounded.
It comes as Banadir regional administration planned to hold pro-government demonstration in the capital on Thursday, though it has been later suspended due to fears over rival protests staged by opposition supporters.
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