Somalia: Bihi hiding in Las Anod conflict to delay election, says opposition

Muse Bihi Abdi of Somaliland speaks during a news conference on October 10, 2018. Picture taken October 10, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri/File Photo

HARGEISA, Somalia - Somaliland opposition team believes regional leader Muse Bihi Abdi is directly responsible for the ongoing war in Las Anod which has left over 200 people dead, as a "strategy" to delay elections which were set to be held in November 2022 but have been paralyzed without tangible reasons.

Wadani party Vice Chairman Ahmed Omar Haji Hamarje noted that the current administration would "collapse" should the presidential elections get delayed beyond the timeline set by the electoral commission. 

Himarje insisted that the conflict in Las Anod could escalate to different parts of the state should the regional administration fail to hold elections which have been the thorn in the flesh for a while now. Hargeisa has refused to hold polls leading to protests by members of the opposition.

"I am waiting for the commission to fulfill its promise to hold the election after nine months. If they don't, Somaliland will face the same fate as Las Anod," Hamarje said. "Even one additional day to the election timeline could result in more regions becoming like Las Anod."

He sensationally claimed Bihi and the Speaker of the Senate, Saleban Mohamud Adan, of instigating the violence in Las Anod to postpone the election. He claimed that his party was ready for presidential and union elections while accusing the President of being unprepared.

Hargeisa has been targeting opposition politicians and recently, a number of them were arrested for staging protests against the government. Muse Bihi's party Kulmiye lost in parliamentary elections held in 2021, with the opposition managing 52 seats out of the available 82 thus controlling the legislature.

The local SSC-Khatumo forces have been battling against Somaliland army who have refused to leave the Las Anod city despite calls by the locals and members of the international community.


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