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Somali president warns against Barre-style public uprising ahead of elections

Mr. Mohamud who is trying to defend his seat faces accusations of performing below par and shortcomings leveled against him by opposition leaders

by Judy Maina,

– Somalia’s president Hassan Sheikh Mohamud has warned of public uprising and inciting violence similar to a popular uprising against the then Somali central government in 1991 which saw armed clan warlords overthrew Siad Barre’s regime, resulting in a bloody decades-old conflict in the impoverished horn of Africa nation.

Mr. Mohamud who is trying to defend his seat faces accusations of performing below par and shortcomings leveled against him by opposition leaders who warned against his re-election, charging him with widespread corruption.

Speaking to his supporters in Mogadishu on Friday, Somali president evoked the spectre of a ‘nasty’ plot against his government, accusing undisclosed parties of driving a ‘dangerous crusade’ against him.

“Somalia has been in a conflict over a half century, and people and the government are on a path of a good governance, therefore we do away it with our own hands.” He said, according Somalia’s national news agency (SONNA).

“Look back at the legacy we have inherited from the collapse of the central government!” he said.

Warlords overthrew Siad Barre's regime in 1991
Warlords overthrew Siad Barre’s regime in 1991

His remarks come at a hard for Mr. Mohamud who faces tough challenges by heavyweight rival candidates including his predecessor Sharif Sheikh Ahmed who returned to the Somali capital last week and started a new political campaign.

In the meantime, experts have predicted tough challenges against the president in view of the broad political support that has energized the opposition camps.

Jacob Moses, a Nairobi-based Somalia expert says that “formidable opposition, consisting of coalition of opposition candidates have left Mr. Mohamud “the underdog,” and more ‘paranoid’.

Meanwhile, Somali government has recently announced that the election of a new president will take place on Oct. 30. The government had previously scheduled presidential elections in August, before the incumbent president’s term expires.

According to Somalia’s Provisional Federal Constitution, adopted in 2012, the mandates of the Somali Federal Parliament and of the government would come to an end in August and September 2016, respectively.

The international community which is spearheading efforts aimed at restoring peace and order into the Somalia which is recovering from decades of war mandated the current government to lead the country into general elections following the election of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, a new parliament and the adoption of a new constitution in 2012.

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