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At least 5 killed, 100 injured in Somaliland protests

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Abdi Sheikh and Daud Yussuf

Mogadishu — Separated Somaliland in Somalia as security forces clash with protesters calling for presidential elections to be held in November At least five people were killed and 100 injured in the area, a regional leader said late Thursday.

Somaliland separated from Somalia in 1991, but its independence is not widely recognized internationally.While Somalia grapples with her 30-year civil war, the region has was mostly peaceful.

Most of the wounded were security forces who were "attacked with clubs, metal bars and stones," Somaliland's President Abdi said in a Facebook post late Thursday. It did not say whether it was civilians or security personnel who were killed.

"We must not allow chaos and demonstrations in any town or village. They will face. It is unacceptable.”

The president’s current term ends in November, but opposition suspect Abdi has postponed the election and is seeking an extension through “Guurti.” I want to accuse Somaliland.

The opposition leader said some deaths occurred after security forces beat and opened fire on demonstrators in Somaliland's capital Hargeisa and two other towns.

Videos shared on social media showed demonstrators throwing stones and burning tires in the streets of Hargeisa, with some security forces using weapons and tear gas. fired gas. Reuters was unable to independently authenticate the video.

Abdi Raman Singro, presidential candidate and former chief of Wadani, one of his two opposition parties defending the protests, said six people were killed. said he did.

"The demonstrations will continue. Until we have a full democratic space, free from dictatorships and bad leadership, this is just the beginning," he said. .

Dozens of security personnel were injured by protesters armed with knives, catapults and clubs during the clashes, according to Somaliland Police Deputy Commander Abdi Hassan Maia. Some carried weapons and fired bullets, he said.

Property and vehicles were also destroyed, according to police.

Somaliland police operations chief Ibrahim Abdi Haji said at least 100 people suspected of involvement in the clashes were arrested and will be charged soon.

In a statement on Thursday, his six foreign diplomatic missions, including the US, UK and EU, condemned what they called "excessive use of force" during the demonstrations. (Written by Hereward Holland and Elias Biryabarema, edited by Katharine Houreld)