Somalia Opposition Leaders Take up Residences in Clan Strongholds

MOGADISHU (Somaliguardian) – Several prominent opposition leaders have moved into residences in their clan dominated districts of Somalia’s capital, Mogadishu amid a tense situation and fears over an outbreak of war.

Former president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who is among 14 presidential candidates that had hopes of running against president Farmajo before polls were delayed, moved into Karan district, north of the capital which is under control of powerful militias from his clan.

He has not yet commented on the decision to move from his home near Adan Adde airport, but the move comes amid fears over clashes between opposition supporters and forces loyal to Somali president Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.

Government deployed troops with armored military vehicles around Shirkole neighborhood on Wednesday where forces loyal to former Banadir police chief Sadak Jon are stationed, in what brought the two sides to the brink of fighting, though calm has later returned following efforts by Galmudug leader and other officials, who pressed on both sides to exercise restraint and ensure pull-back of forces.

Former president Sharif Sheikh Ahmed is planning to settle down in Sisi neighborhood, a stronghold of his clan where his supporters can protect him from possible attacks by pro-government forces, sources have told Somaliguardian on Thursday.

Hassan Ali Khaire, an erstwhile ally of president Farmajo and his former prime minister took up residence in Daynile district, west of the capital – an area under complete control of clan militias and forces from his clan.

Other opposition leaders are also expected to follow suit as troop buildup in the capital is feared to trigger direct clashes between pro-government troops led by commanders mainly from president Farmajo’s clan and opposition supporters.

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