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Somalia; Candidates Union “Farmajo is a national criminal”

A meeting of the opposition candidates’ union discussed the recent violence in Mogadishu. They condemned the government’s brutal crackdown on opposition leaders who were protesting peacefully, calling Farmajo a national criminal.

The government on Friday night stormed Maida hotel where opposition leaders were staying, where they were preparing for Friday’s protest against Farmajo’s expired government. According to Sheikh Sharif and Hassan Ali Khaire, the government deliberately attacked the hotel and a fight broke out between the candidates’ bodyguards and government forces.

The government took control of the protest site, Daljirka Dahsoon, at night, deploying armored vehicles and a large number of troops to prevent the public from gathering and expressing their concerns. There were also several attacks between government forces and candidates’ bodyguards.The government has deployed troops at all key intersections and road to stop people to gather, which the opposition described as repression of civilians and freedom of expression guaranteed by the constitution.

So what happened on Friday morning? As promised, peaceful demonstrators came out to express their concerns. Because the constitution guarantees that the public can protest peacefully. Demonstrations  led by leaders of opposition parties such as, Abdirahman Abdishakur, Hassan Ali Khaire, Hussein Guled, Mahad Saladwho demanded that Farmajo resign peacefully as he had failed to hold a fair election.

The government deliberately opened fire on protesters and opposition party leaders were seen hiding from government live ammunition. Videos posted on social media showed Hassan Ali Khaire and Abdirahman Abdishakur fleeing gunfire from government forces, which was watched around the world.

Many political stake holders, presidential candidates and regional leaders have condemned this heinous act as illegitimate and dictatorial by the government led by the late President Farmajo is on the rise.

On the other hand,”The council considers the outgoing president to be a national criminal, in no way part of the solution to the political crisis, and to be barred from participating in the elections, according to the provisional constitution,” the statement said.