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Two soldiers killed near Garowe airport leading to grounded flights


Tuesday May 16, 2023

Garowe (HOL) - Two Puntland navy soldiers were killed, and around ten others were injured in a clash between Puntland forces and tribal militias near the airport in Garowe on Monday night.

The confrontation arose between security forces reportedly guarding election materials and clan militias opposing the upcoming local elections. The direct local council elections are scheduled for May, 25 2023.

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Puntland officials believe that the opposition politicians supported the clan militia forces, despite the administration tightening security measures.

Airlines have suspended flights to Garowe on Tuesday due to security concerns.

Last week, Prime Minister Hamza emphasized that the federal government would not accept an election process that could harm Puntland. He suggested that while people should have the freedom to participate in elections, it should be conducted in a mutually agreed-upon manner to ensure the stability of Puntland.

However, Puntland state leaders insist on holding one-person, one-vote elections, which has led to boycotts by opposition figures, including former Somali Prime Minister and ex-Puntland President Abdiwali Gas, and former Puntland President Abdirahman Farole. They accuse President Deni of mismanaging the election and engaging in fraudulent practices.

Just a day ago, Puntland President Said Abdullahi Deni apologized to the people and intellectuals of the Mudug region for handling the lower house seats' election in their constituencies.

During his visit to Galkayo town, President Deni held a special meeting with Islam Bashir Islam Abdulle and other traditional elders, expressing his administration's apologies for not allowing traditional elders to have an engagement in selecting their representatives in the federal parliament.

The federal lawmakers elected from Puntland were mainly close allies of President Said Deni, including members of his cabinet and the political organization KAAH.

During the meeting, Mudug region's elders warned Deni against conducting an election that fails to satisfy all stakeholders.

*A previous version of this article stated that three Puntland Navy soldiers were killed in the clash. It has been updated to reflect that two military personnel were killed. 



 





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