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UN Appeals for Calm Amid Political Violence in Somalia

  • Image of people walking away from a conflict zone, Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 19, 2021.

    Image of people walking away from a conflict zone, Mogadishu, Somalia, Feb. 19, 2021. | Photo: Twitter/ @Sergei_Ardzinba

Published 19 February 2021

The Farmaajo administration's security forces violently dispersed protesters pushing for delayed national elections.

Regarding the armed clashes taking place in the Somali capital Mogadishu on Friday, the United Nations called on all parties to exercise restraint and calm as security forces opened fire to break up anti-government protests.


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"The UN in Somalia notes that the clashes in Mogadishu underscore the urgent need for Federal Government and Federal Member State leaders to come together to reach a political agreement on the implementation of the 17 September electoral model," the UN said.

The multilateral institution also urged both President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo's administration and opposition presidential candidates to open lines of communication to help reduce tensions in the country.

These statements came amid sporadic gunfire and rockets exploded on the streets of Mogadishu as security forces clashed with protesters pushing for delayed national elections.

The clashes came after the Somali government said its forces foiled an attack on one of its military bases in Mogadishu.

Information Minister Osman Dubbe said armed militia attacked security checkpoints at 1:00 a.m., sparking a heavy gunfight between the soldiers and the militia.

The opposition leaders who organized Friday's protests, however, accused the government of attacking their positions ahead of the planned rally. The Council of Presidential Candidates, which is led by former presidents Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and Sharif Sheikh Ahmed, condemned the incident.

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