At least 3 dead in clashes between government forces and clan militias in Mogadishu
Mogadishu (Harar24) – Amidst raging violence in Mogadishu that continues to engulf the capital, soldiers within the Somali National Army are reported to have clashed with armed men loyal to Ahmed Da’i, the district chief of Wadajir. The fighting was reported to have taken place near the heavily fortified Halane military base.
According to eyewitnesses the soldiers were travelling near the airport when they arrived at an illegal checkpoint manned by clan militia loyal to Ahmed Da’I, who opened fire on the soldiers in an attempt to seize their weapons.
However, this attempt to seize the weapons turned into a heavy clash between the two parties, which led to AMISOM soldiers interfering. What seems most unusual is that instead of remaining neutral or siding by the government forces against the militias they surprisingly sided with the militias at the checkpoint, which led to the fleeing of the government troops, while the clashes left three people dead with an unknown number of injured.
According to Faduma Adow who sells tea in the area, the militia loyal to Ahmed Da’i protect and guard the AMISOM from Al-Shabaab attacks, in return the AMISOM forces in the area return the “favor”. “The soldiers who were passing by attempted to go through the makeshift checkpoint of the armed men loyal to Ahmed Da’i, this is when they opened fire. The road eventually leads to AMISOM bases, the AMISOM have an agreement with the armed men to protect them from Al-Shabaab, in return AMISOM lets them take illegal money from the checkpoint”.
Despite decrees by the government to execute any armed men or soldiers seen at illegal checkpoints, many still haven’t heed calls by the government to abandon setting up checkpoints. Some of the most rampant makeshift checkpoints are present at Wadajir and Dharkinley districts, where some powerful clans with loyal militias do as they wish.