Somali opposition leaders slam ‘use of live bullets’ against Mogadishu protesters

Four people were wounded and others detained by security forces in the Somali capital, Mogadishu, today after large anti-government protests were dispersed by police using live bullets.

The protesters carried placards and chanted slogans accusing President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo of showing dictatorial tendencies and planning to rig the upcoming parliamentary and presidential elections.

The opposition Council of Presidential Candidates Union accused the government’s Gorgor and Harma’ad Special Forces of using live bullets against the peaceful protesters.

“The Council of Presidential Candidates Union strongly condemns the brutal use of live bullets by the Federal Government forces against the Somali people who were peacefully protesting in Mogadishu,” the union said in a statement.

“The Council places full blame on President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo for using the Turkish-trained Gorgor and Harma’ad Special Forces to suppress protesters,” the statement added.

The council said that at least 4 people were wounded when the troops opened fire on the protesters while at least 2 others were detained.

The presidential candidates called for the immediate release of all those who were detained and warned the security forces “against taking orders to shoot at civilians who are their brothers and parents”.

The opposition leaders also announced they would take part in other upcoming anti-government protests.

The federal government is yet to comment on today’s protests.