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International community "deeply concerned" as three people killed, dozens injured during election protests in Hargeisa

Thursday August 11, 2022

Hargeisa (HOL) - A joint statement signed by the US, UK, EU, Finland, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden said they were "deeply concerned" about the reports of violence during protests in the capital of the breakaway region of Somaliland.

"International partners are deeply concerned about reports of public disorder and the excessive use of force during the political demonstrations in Hargeisa, Burao and Erigavo today. We call upon all sides to ensure that both the demonstrations and police responses are peaceful and follow the rule of law. "

The statement added that Somaliland's political stakeholders should settle their differences at the negotiating table.

"We reiterate the need for all sides in Somaliland to engage in constructive dialogue to reach a consensus on a roadmap for elections. Somaliland's leaders must work together with its people to decide their future and to protect Somaliland's peace, stability and democracy."

The US Embassy in Mogadishu warned that Somaliland's achievements in governance are at stake if its leaders cannot reach a deal by consensus.

"We strongly urge the ruling and opposition leaders in Somaliland to avoid violence during the demonstrations and return quickly to political dialogue. Failure to reach an agreement on elections threatens Somaliland's achievements in democratic governance."
At least three civilians were killed and 89 others, including police officers, wounded during Thursday protests in Somaliland, according to local police.

‎An official said that three civilians died, two were killed in Hargeisa, and one died in Erigabo. ‎

An eyewitness reported that police forces shot the protesters dead.

Widely circulated footage on social media shows uniformed police officers clashing with protestors, often using live ammunition to disperse the crowds.

Speaking to reporters in Hargeisa, a senior police official said that protesters with firearms, swords, and sticks clashed with the police, which caused casualties.

He added that 22 policemen and 21 civilians were wounded in Hargeisa, 29 policemen and six civilians were wounded in Buro town, and 11 policemen were injured in Erigabo town.

However, the candidate of the Wadani opposition party, Abdirahman Iro, accused the government of using force against the demonstrators, which resulted in the death of 6 people and more than 100 wounds.

‎He said the responsibility for the losses belongs to the Somaliland government alone. He added that the protests would continue and continue day and night, and today was just the beginning. ‎

Somaliland Interior Minister Mohamed Kahin Ahmed and other ministers had a meeting with UCID party chairman Faysal Ali Warabe on Wednesday, where the two parties agreed to allow for opposition protests in six electoral regions of Somalia.

Authorities in Somaliland cut off internet connection in the region on Thursday morning, just hours ahead of scheduled protests.

Opposition leaders are demanding that the government hold elections on November 13.


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