Somalia Opposition Delays Protest after Deal with Government

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Somalia’s opposition announced on Thursday it would delay a mass anti-government protest planned for Friday after reaching a deal with the country’s Prime Minister to end dispute following months of heated impasse over elections.

Following meeting at Decale Hotel inside Adan Adde Airport in Mogadishu on Thursday, the opposition and government agreed on a number of issues, reviving hopes of a breakthrough on the current political standoff.

The government regretted February 19 crackdown on opposition protests and an attack on a hotel hosting two former presidents, promising to establish an investigation into the incident in what analysts say is a milestone achievement for the opposition.

Anti-government march planned for Friday has been delayed and will take place within 10 days to give a chance for security forces to protect the protest, according to the terms of the deal.

The two sides also agreed to continue talks on the implementation of the electoral process.

Somali troops fired on a protest on February 19 and dispersed protesters including opposition leaders, hours after raiding a hotel where two former presidents had stayed.

The deal has come after international community representatives mounted pressure on both the opposition and the government to bring an end to electoral impasse, weeks after the president’s term expired while efforts to hold polls have yet to gather pace.

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