Somalilandsun: Calm has returned to Mogadishu after a Soldiers protest over unpaid Salaries ended in the capital Mogadishu.
The soldiers blocked roads forcing businesses to close as they stated that their dissent was due to unpaid salaries for almost 15 months while conducting operations against Al-shabaab an islamist group fighting the Federal government of Somalia for control of the country which they hold a huge chunk no.
While the soldiers were protesting seven citizens were killed in Mogadishu when two simultaneous occurred one of which was claimed by group al-Shabab, reported Reuters adding that eyewitnesses the saw soldiers – some armed – stopping traffic at several locations including on two major roads and at two junctions
At the K5 junction, unarmed soldiers ordered shops and restaurants to close, and on Maka Al Mukaram, a major street, soldiers blocked traffic with a pickup truck mounted with an anti-aircraft gun.
While the hundreds of rebellious soldiers who are mainly from two bases in Mogadishu and a few from outside the capital are yet to disclose reasons behind ending their dissent neither has the army command nor Government.
The hundreds of dissenting who are from two bases in Mogadishu and others outside the capital are fighting the militant Islamist group al-Shabab who said they carried out one of two attacks this weekend killing at least seven people.
Captain Ali Osman, a military official told Reuters, that the soldiers were protesting to remind the president of his campaign promise to pay all arrears.”He was elected in February and now we are in the middle of March so we conducted a peaceful demo to remind the president of his promise because he has not paid us,” Osman said.Mohamed, a colonel who declined to give his second name, told Reuters that about 2,000 soldiers from two military bases, Villa Baidoa and the Ex-petrol Refinery, had come out on strike.
This protest is a challenge for President Farmajo who had pledged to defeat al Shabaab during his presidential campaign years back and is now seeking reelection in the country’s first one man one vote elections slated for later in the year.