Saturday, December 08, 2012

Somaliland Election Results Lead to Violent Protests in Hargeisa

Dec 7, 2012 - 2:23:33 PM

Somalia: Somaliland election results lead to violent protests in Hargeisa

7 Dec 7, 2012 - 1:27:55 PM

HARGEISA, Somalia Dec 7 2012 (Garowe Online) – A protest over election results in the breakaway region of Somaliland in northwestern Somalia turned violent leading to casualties, Garowe Online reports.

The BBC Somali section reported that 3 people were killed and 7 others were injured after protests in south Hargeisa erupted over announcement of preliminary results for district elections in Somaliland.

The protests sparked Thursday night in south Hargeisa’s Ahmed Dagah neighborhood after youth supporting Haqsoor political party protested about the district election results clashed with Somaliland police. The protests continued Friday morning.

Thursday night’s preliminary district election results for Hargeisa district's 25 seats, set off the demonstrations that turned violent in Somaliland.

Mr. Mohamed Nur Arale Duur, Somaliland's interior minister, sent condolences to the families of the deceased and told reporters that a ministerial-level committee was appointed and was engaging in meetings with local elders and Haqsoor party supporters, adding that the situation was "calm".

Chairman of Haqsoor political party Hassan Isse, a former vice president in Somaliland in the 1990s, told the BBC Somali section on Friday that there was "mismanagement" in the election and called on the violent protests to stop immediately.

“Youth, who are primarily the supporters of Haqsoor clashed with Somaliland police after district election results and I am regretful over this clash,” said Chairman Isse.

Continuing Mr. Isse said that upon hearing the clashes in Hargeisa that resulted in deaths and injuries late Thursday and Friday, they had rounded up supporters and reiterated to them that violence is not the solution.

During the interview, the chairman voiced the youth's view and his of the Somaliland’s district elections that he alleged were “prejudice and corrupt”.

“The youth protested the same way those in Egypt protested about being denied their right to a free and fair election. There is evidence of outright ballot forgery and ballot misplacement in many districts,” said Chairman Isse.

He continued saying that he has taken the complaints to the National Election Commission and is awaiting a response.

Protestors burned tires and setup roadblocks, and according to local sources frequent gunfire could be heard in Hargeisa Thursday night and Friday morning. Business in south Hargeisa stopped Friday afternoon after police issued a curfew in the area.

Somaliland’s district election results are early as election officials are still tallying votes.

Somaliland's district elections in the contested regions of Sool and Sanaag occurred in only two districts. Puntland and Somaliland have been locked in a territorial dispute over Sool and Sanaag region boundaries.

Somaliland's separatist administration unilaterally declared independence from Somalia in 1991 but has not been recognized internationally.


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