Somalia: Puntland state prosecutor orders for arrest of Deni's critics
GAROWE, Somalia - With simmering tensions over a plot to extend the presidential term illegally, the Puntland state prosecutor has ordered the arrest of four politicians, just days after the federal leader called for consensus over controversial polls in the northern state.
Ahmed Mohamed Yusuf, the state's prosecutor, called for the arrest and prosecution of four politicians over claims they were behind an attack on vehicles carrying ballot boxes to various Districts on Monday night. The arrest warrant is a move that could potentially ignite political ripples.
Those targeted include Khadar Abdirahman Mohamed, the special envoy for Trade in President Hassan Sheikh. Others are former Finance Minister Hassan Shire Abgal, and businessman Mohamud Farah Warsame Shido, who denied all accusations.
It is paramount to note that Puntland Parliament previously rejected the transitional prosecutor behind these orders for the Chairman role for the high court and did not hold parliamentary immunity.
The orders come amid concerns over a plot by President Said Abdullahi Deni to extend his term illegally through the imposition of local councils election. Opposition parties have been calling for consensus in impending polls, but Deni insisted that the exercise will go on as planned.
Already, foreign diplomatic missions in Somalia urged Puntland stakeholders to avoid violence and resolve disputes through dialogue. However, Deni has failed to extend an olive branch to the opposition, which recently convened a consultative forum over the electoral impasse in Garowe.
The opposition during their two-day consultative forum warned that May 25 local election could create instability in Puntland since it is not going through a legal manner and lacks inclusivity and transparency.
Also, the opposition political formations have already insisted that they will boycott upcoming local council elections. Deni whose term is expiring in January 2024 failed to win the race for Somali president on 15th May last year. He plans to run again in 2026.