Recently deployed Government forces in Lower Shabelle accused of crimes by Local District Chiefs
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Several district chiefs from areas surrounding Afgoye including the district chief of Marerey have fled their respective areas after Somali government troops reached their areas.
The Somali troops were sent to several areas in the Lower Shabelle region in an attempt to stop looting and uproot illegal checkpoints in the region, however locals have complained of the ruthless and corrupt behavior of a lot of the soldiers.
The district chief of Marery known as Siid Mayow Balle complained of the actions undertaken by the soldiers and that they are involved in robbing people at the checkpoints they were sent to eliminate.
“The local people have come complaining to me about the crimes committed by these soldiers, they rob and loot, no one is spared from their crimes” he said while urging the government in Mogadishu to take action. “I was forced to flee my town of residence and I can’t go back now, I fear for my life” he added.
Harar24 spoke to several clan leaders and elders in the Lower Shabelle who also complained of the behavior of the troops sent there. One clan elder told Harar24: “We believe these are just militias clad in uniform, they’re no different than the criminals who they replaced, we don’t understand why the government sent them here.” Another said: “These militias are majority Habargidir and Abgal based who’ve come to take revenge on us, they’re fighting a clan based war.”
This comes a day after government forces which consisted of the Habargidir tribe aided by recently deployed soldiers in the region belonging to the Abgal tribe jointly expelled local government forces in the area belonging to the Biyomal tribe.
Fighting between clan based Government troops has become a persistent problem within the Somali National Army and is costing the lives of many soldier and civilians alike, it’s a problem on the rise and yet to be tackled by the Somali government.