Somaliland: Military Fire On Crowds In The City, Take Aim At Opposition Leaders

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Somaliland: Military Fire On Crowds In The City, Take Aim At Opposition Leaders

April 6th, 2009

Hargeysa (SomalilandGlobe) The Somaliland Special Commando Unit, otherwise known as SPU have fired on a large crowd of civilians, following a peaceful celebration and march through the city to celebrate the day of the formation of Somali National Movement (SNM), which is  the guerrila organisation that liberated Somaliland from Siyad Barre’s dictatorial rule.

The Somaliland government has banned the annual celebration of 6th April to commemarate the the formation of SNM, this year, due to fears of demonstration.

The government’s term of office is due to end today and the two opposition parties in Somaliland declared both that they do not recognize Rayale’s presidency after the 6th of April.  Hence  the fear of the Rayale government of public gatherings and the consequent fire and shooting.

As a result of the ban on the celebrations to mark SNM day, KULMIYE party, the main opposition party of Somaliland, has called for the event to be remembered at a gathering it hosted in its main office in  Hargeysa.  At the end of that gathering, the leadership of KULMIYE party together with the people that took part in the meeting, walked through the main road of the city, as a mark of rememberance, towards the house of the Chairman Silanyo, leader of the opposition.  This is when the government troops fired on the walking crowd and as a result injured one person.

The leadership of KULMIYE were not hurt in the fire, although, some reports coming from  Hargeysa say that the firing squad targeted the leadership of the opposition, in particular Mr Silanyo.  However this was not and could not have been confirmed by independent sources.

The situation in Hargeysa is tense at this moment and reports coming from the opposition camp state that there are demonstrations planned across Somaliland cities in the coming few days to demonstrate against the government whose term of office has ended.

The opposition parties state that they plan peaceful demonstrations to register their displeasure with what they call Rayale’s disregard for the law.  However the government has banned all demonstrations in the country and its not known whether the government will face these demonstrations with fire power as it did today.