Security block meeting of Galmudug MPs

Armed men suspected to be intelligence forces today blocked a meeting of Galmudug regional MPs in Adado, following a similar development last week.

The affected MPs are those who had passed a vote of no-confidence against Regional President Abdikarim Guled earlier this month – a vote that the president says was improper.

Political tensions erupted into violence last Tuesday when three people were shot dead in fighting between suspected federal security and police at the Galmudug Parliament. The clash took place after the security forces entered the parliament premises in Adada to stop a meeting that lawmakers had convened to discuss ousting the regional president.

Mohamed Hassan Gele, chairman of an 11-member election committee opposing the regional president, says that security forces again today blocked their work, complaining, “In recent days we are facing a huge disruption from the president’s close allied forces.”

“Early on Monday morning when some of the MPs went to their building, and others were trying to join them, an armed group opened fire. After that the MPs returned to their houses – that is why our meeting was cancelled today,” he told The Messenger today.

Yet nobody was hurt in the incident today.

Gele added, “We are those who keep up the Galmudug law, we agreed that the president should not work because the parliament passed a vote of no-confidence, although he says that the impeachment was null and void because the speaker was not present at the voting.”

On the other hand, a local clan elder has criticized lawmakers who are lobbying for the removal of the regional president, saying that they are fueling political tensions. Elder Hassan Hilowle Osman has even called for the arrest of the deputy speaker, Shabelle News reported on Monday.

He said local elders began efforts to deescalate tensions in the region.

For his part, MP Gele rejects the security’s interference in parliament as illegal. “We believe that last week the clashes weren’t a ‘clash’ but an attack carried out by the security. As the police were doing their duty they were attacked by the federal security,” he claimed.