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Murder of former deputy commander intensifies electoral crisis in Garowe

Monday May 22, 2023


Garowe (HOL) - Hayle Arabay Hireey, the former Deputy Commander of the Puntland Security Forces at Garowe Airport, was killed Monday morning in Garowe, Puntland's administrative capital. The motives behind the murder is still unclear, yet speculations suggest the possible involvement of pro-opposition militia amid the ongoing regional election conflict.

The former deputy commander's body was taken to Garowe General Hospital alongside two other soldiers who lost their lives in election-related violence. 

Efforts to pacify the electoral dispute are ongoing, and it was hoped that Monday would bring an easing of political tensions with attempts to persuade local politicians opposing the election to abandon their position. The latest killing, however, highlights the depth and complexity of the electoral crisis, signifying not only a political struggle but also an alarming deterioration of law and order that could have significant consequences for the region's stability in the long term.

Opposition-commanded militia have erected checkpoints in the eastern suburbs of Garowe, aiming to block the transportation of ballot boxes beyond the city limits. This added layer of political maneuvering further complicates the situation just days before the direct local council elections scheduled for May 25, 2023, indicating a potential crisis point in the democratic process.

Escalating tensions were already palpable last week when Puntland authorities initiated the arrest of four political figures, including ex-Finance Minister Hassan Shire Abgaal. They stand accused of involvement in a violent clash in Garowe, an incident that claimed the lives of two military personnel.


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