Residents in the eastern city of Las Anod, capital to Sool region, stage violent demonstrations on the main streets of the city Tuesday morning following another targeted killing the evening before.
Abdifattah Abdullahi Abdi ‘Hadrawi’ was killed by masked assailants Monday evening not far far from a mosque where he performed the Isha prayers.
Soft-spoken, popular, young and an aspiring politician, Abdifattah lost his life to assassins who had for the past ten years targeting the cream of the society in meticulously-planned operations that defied discovery or apprehension.Abdifattah’s death is said to be 40th in a long string of assassinations that appear to have the same hallmarks as those that regularly happen in Mogadishu of Federal Somalia further.
Reliable sources indicate that looters and ‘programmed’ elements started infiltrating pockets of protesters who have blocked some of the streets starting to violently stone anything and anybody in sights. Soon after, the infiltrators guided the protesters most of whom were young and impressionable towards the offices and operation centers of Dahabshiil, Telesom, Darasalam Bank and Somtel.
The looters broke down the doors and windows of the remittance, banking and telecom companies with the help of the incensed protesters, according to the sources, making off with cash and equipment from some of the offices successfully where forced entries were made. Some reports confirm that some US$19000 was looted from Somtel but that some of the looters were identified and nabbed by security forces later in the day.
The combination of the looting and the violent protests briefly turned the city upside down overwhelming security forces who called in the military for reinforcements.
At least four people were reported dead and as many as two dozen more were wounded by gunshot or injured by the stone-throwing mobs on varying degrees.
Eyewitnesses and sources official and not so argue that there was a marked degree of heavy-handedness on the part of the military. The army is not among government agencies trained to quell down demonstrations – violent or otherwise.
But, then, the prevailing mistrust and troubling targeted killings play a part in turning the situation to somewhere beyond the usual thereby, perhaps, precipitating unusual, unpleasant decisions, a number of observers, following the troubling developments of the town, expostulate.
Consequently, the city’s municipal council halted all operations calling for an immediate consultation with the region’s representatives at the parliament whose first meeting is expected to convene at the city hall Wednesday.
As has been the case with previous incidents of the same kind, suspicions cover a wide range of perpetrators including al Shabaab assassin cells, Puntland-organized operatives wishing to place the blame on Somaliland for failing to protect the city’s residents and revenge-killers settling scores hiding behind dark masks and darker nights.
More than 80% of the fallen were connected in some way or the other to the government of the Republic of Somaliland or its national parties. But, on the other hand, all of the targeted were of the city itself – none hailed from other regions or outside clan groups.
This latest of the Las Anod killings and the violent protests come at a time registration of voters was expected to start in the town and the region on Wednesday, tomorrow, the 28th of December 2022.
Except for the troubling, recurring assassinations, Las Anod has made remarkable progress recently becoming a successful showcase of resilience shown by residents bouncing back triumphantly from adverse, debilitating circumstances including all-out clan confrontations that resulted in the death of hundreds and the destruction of untold of properties.