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Puntland soldiers protest over unpaid salaries

Monday August 14, 2023

Garowe (HOL) - Heavy-armed soldiers have blocked the road that links Garowe, Puntland's administrative capital, to Galkacyo due to unpaid salaries for several months, amid Puntland regional state leaders at odd with opposition groups over an election dispute.

For the second consecutive day, dozens of trucks carrying goods to the country's central region have remained stranded at the customs post in the Harfo district of the Mudug region. Likewise, other lorries destined for the coastal town of Bosaso have been refused passage.

For the third time in recent months, Puntland forces have protested due to unpaid wages. Just a few weeks ago, soldiers stationed in the Golis Mountains abandoned their frontlines, resulting in the road blockade to Bosaso. Shortly after that, another group of soldiers closed off the Bosaso port. In response, the state swiftly addressed the grievances by disbursing the salaries owed to the protesting forces.

Over the past months, instances of revolt within the Puntland army have increased. This has been attributed to the Puntland administration's failure to pay the salaries of its employees and soldiers.

President of Puntland Regional State, Said Abdullahi Deni, pledged to hold multi-party elections in Puntland on January 8, 2024. This declaration comes shortly after opposition politicians threatened to hold a unilateral election if Deni fails to conduct a consensus election early next year.

Opposition groups have recently accused Said Abdullahi Deni of being busy with an election campaign to retain power.


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