On April 25th, the election stalemate in Somalia led to rival factions beginning clashes in Mogadishu.
The fighting took place between federal government forces of President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, known as Farmajo, and members of the Somali military who are aligning themselves with opposition leaders.
There is an unknown number of casualties.
The talks on normalization collapsed after Farmajo failed to hold presidential and parliamentary elections by February, as scheduled, and then in April signed a law extending his term in office by two years.
The moves effectively ended United Nations-mediated negotiations backed by the United States and added fuel to an already combustible political situation.
The European Union ambassador to Somalia, Nicolas Berlanga, took to Twitter for “maximum restraint” on all sides. “Violence is unacceptable,” he said. “Those responsible will be held accountable.”
Highly concerned about the ongoing events in Mogadishu. The general interest requests maximum restraint, preserve institutions that belong to all and dialogue. Violence is unacceptable. Those responsible will be held accountable.
— Nicolas Berlanga (@NBerlangaEU) April 25, 2021
There are videos showing some of the classes around Kilometer 4, a major Mogadishu junction.
At minutes of silence, gunfights resumes in K4 area #Mogadishu.
— Abdalle Ahmed Mumin (@Cabdalleaxmed) April 25, 2021
BREAKING: Fighting in #Mogadishu intensifies.
Former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and opposition leader, Abdirahman Abdishukur, say soldiers loyal to Farmajo attacked their homes. #Somalia pic.twitter.com/Pt1r4lYPD9
— Morad News (@MoradNews) April 25, 2021
The opposition, by employing some heavy equipment have reportedly taken control of some areas near Mogadishu’s presidential palace.
Pro-opposition forces take control of areas near #Somalia's presidential palace in #Mogadishu and military vehicles can be seen on the main streets, including Tarabunka, Abdikasim, Sayidka, parts of Makka Al-Mukarama, and Dabka on Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/npVXTGyLMQ
— Garowe Online (@GaroweOnline) April 26, 2021
Former president of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, accused government forces of attacking his residence in north Mogadishu.
“It’s unfortunate that troops taking orders from [Farmajo] have attacked my residence,” Mohamud wrote on his Twitter account.
“I have warned him [Farmajo] previously and I repeat the risk of politicizing security. The responsibility of the consequence will be taken by Farmajo.”
The Somali government has denied the claim from the former president. Internal Security Minister Hassan Hundubey Jimale told state media that government troops have been providing protection to the former government for years.
“Since he left office in 2017, he was being protected by government forces because of the national respect he is being afforded; it’s impossible whatsoever that he was attacked; it didn’t happen,” Jimale said.
Somalia is a country that is plagued by a heavy terrorist presence in large parts of it, and frequent attacks, furthermore the political chaos does little to help this, and instead makes it much worse.
MORE ON THE TOPIC:
- Military Situation In Somalia On April 4, 2021 (Map Update)
- Somalia: Al-Shabaab Carried Out Simultaneous Attacks. Dozens Killed, Including Civilians (Photos)