Somalia’s opposition postpones anti-government protests

MOGADISHU, SOMALIA - SEPTEMBER 23: (----EDITORIAL USE ONLY â MANDATORY CREDIT - "SOMALIAN PRESIDENCY / HANDOUT" - NO MARKETING NO ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS - DISTRIBUTED AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS----) Newly appointed Mohamed Hussein Roble poses for a photo after Somali lawmakers on Wednesday approved Roble as the country's new prime minister in a landslide vote, in Mogadishu, Somalia on September 23, 2020. (Photo by Somalian Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Opposition presidential candidates in Somalia postponed an anti-government protest planned for Friday following a meeting late Thursday with Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble.

FILE PHOTO: Somali Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble. (Photo by Somali Presidency/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Opposition leaders threatened demonstrations in response to clashes between government forces and pro-opposition groups in the capital last week in which at least four people were killed. Somalia’s civil society and traditional elders also held a mediation process between the two factions.

According to a statement issued after the meeting, the government agreed to the appointment of a committee to investigate the incident and sent its condolences to the people affected by the incident and the presidential candidates.

The statement added that an opposition rally is set to be held in 10 days even as it guaranteed the constitutional right of citizens to demonstrate.

Tensions in the Horn of Africa nation flared following the expiry of President Mohamed Farmaajo’s term on February 8 with opposition leaders demanding he steps down and a transitional national council be appointed to manage the coming elections.

Farmaajo, who is seeking another four-year term, has been unable to reach an agreement with five federal member states on the electoral process.

The current mandate of parliament already lapsed and legislative and presidential elections were supposed to be held between December 2020 and February 2021.

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