Sunday April 25, 2021
Mogadishu (HOL) - Fighting has reportedly broken out in Somalia's capital after a company of federal government troops posted to Middle Shabelle vacated their posts overnight and entered Mogadishu on Sunday. The well-armed troops are protesting the controversial term extension that has exasperated the cracks in Somalia's security sector and worsened the political divide.
The soldiers are being commanded by Col. Saney Abdulle.
Residents said that the troops entered the city and took up positions in northern Mogadishu. Initially, there was no resistance from Somali Police, who vacated the area. However, around 2:30 PM, heavy gunfire broke out in the San'aa junction of the city as they clashed with soldiers loyal to President Farmajo.
It is too early to decipher if it resulted in any loss of life or serious injuries.
There are reports that residents have begun fleeing the surrounding neighbourhoods.
A protest took place in the Fagah neighbourhood before the clash.
Colonel Abdulkadir Abdullahi held a press conference where he chastised the rebel soldiers as being unpatriotic. He added that the Somali military is prepared to defend the government led by President Farmajo.
Previously the troops were based in Middle Shabelle, where they were engaged in fighting with Al-Shabaab militants.
Earlier this week, members of Somalia's Hawiye clan gathered in the capital to pass a resolution that rejected President Farmajo's two-year term extension. In their official communique, the group said it would not recognize Farmajo as the legal head of state and warned they would take action.