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Raid on Somali politician’s residence ‘yields vital data’ in subversion probe – Sources 

The raid which comes shortly after the country’s attorney general said he’d bring criminal charges against two members of the Somali parliament, accusing them of inciting subversion against the state saw soldiers ransacked the house and confiscated the politician’s laptop, documents and other materials deemed ‘vital’ by security officials.

By Judy Maina, judy.maina@alleastafrica.com

NAIROBI – An overnight raid by Somali forces which targeted the house of a Somali opposition politician arrested security forces in the Somali capital proved valuable for the government’s investigation into an alleged subversion attempts by politicians it accused of receiving funds from foreign countries, security sources said Tuesday.

Monday’s raid which the spokesman of Somalia’s security ministry said merely aimed to arrest Abdirahman Abdishakur, a former presidential candidate and minister has turned deadly later following an altercation with the politician’s guards, resulting in brief clashes that killed six people including four of the guards.

Mr. Warsame is currently being held in a security prison in Mogadishu.

Mr. Warsame who has since been arrested is currently being held in a security prison in Mogadishu. According to officials, he has suffered minor injuries during a scuffle with soldiers as he tried to prevent soldiers from taking hold of his laptop.

According two security officials privy with the matter, Somali intelligence’s Data Intelligence engineers who have succeeded in bypassing the laptop’s security system have since found troves of documents allegedly implicating several officials in criminal acts, signaling an expansion of the investigation against several officials.

They haven’t given further details about the specific evidence contained in the documents.

However, Abdiaziz Mohamed, a spokesman for Somalia’s security ministry told reporters Tuesday that Mr. Warsame would be arraigned in court to face criminal charges pending the outcome of an ongoing investigation.

The raid which comes shortly after the country’s attorney general said he’d bring criminal charges against two members of the Somali parliament, accusing them of inciting subversion against the state saw soldiers ransacked the house and confiscated the politician’s laptop, documents and other materials deemed ‘vital’ by security officials.

Opposition politicians have fiercely condemned the raid, accusing the government of attempting to suppress political opposition and silence critical voices, an assertion dismissed by the government which said that it would produce evidence to backup charges against the detained opposition politician.

In the meantime, investigators following trail of evidence from the documents seized by security forces are also examining contacts of some of the country’s politicians with the United Arab Emirates, which Somali government says is projecting its Turkeyphobia on it by using local politicians.

UAE is currently locked in an escalating rivalry over Somalia’s economic interests with Turkey which maintains closer relations with the Somali government.

Earlier this year, UAE’s global ports operator, DP World had signed two separate 30-year contracts to run two major ports in the breakaway northern Somalia enclave of Somalilnd and the neighboring regional state of Puntland, part of a regional power struggle with Turkey which had won long-term contracts to run both the Mogadishu port and airport in Somalia.

However, Somalia unnerved by UAE’s growing political influence considers the moves as a ‘blatant disrespect’ towards its sovereignty and judicial system, saying that UAE’s ‘interference’ threatens to destabilize the long-chaotic horn of Africa nation.

Meanwhile, pressure is also building up on the Somali government which maintains its neutral stand over the ongoing Gulf crisis, as the UAE, employing diplomatic and financial leverage have turned to the country’s regional states who have cut ties with Qatar, having received financial incentives to build up pressure on the government with the hope of forcing it to abandon its neutral stand despite its assertions of remaining neutral.

But, Somali government which continues to avoid shunning UAE in public has reportedly raised the matter with international partners, in a desperate attempt to evade potential political crisis in the country which has a history of constant political bickering by its political stakeholders.

Foreign interference in the country’s internal affairs is seen as a major barrier standing in the way of Somalia’s state rebuilding efforts following two decades of war.

For years, foreign countries have subsequently used local politicians as bedrock to push their agendas at the expense of the long-chaotic horn of Africa nation.

(Additional reporting by Alleastafrica reporter in Mogadishu, editing by Jeff Mwaura in Nairobi, Kenya)

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