Somalia opposition groups have expressed ‘grave’ concerns over what they termed as attempts to interfere with the upcoming Galmudug elections using Ethiopian troops as they did in South West state last December which resulted in the death of at least 15 people.
In an open letter addressed to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and copied to among other the UN Security Council, Forum for National Parties (FNP) coalition said it was ‘gravely’ concerned by the ‘unfortunate renewal of Ethiopia’s violent involvement in Somalia’s domestic politics’.
“The Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) have been repeatedly involved in illegal activities whose outcome could at best undermine the fragile state-building and nascent democratic processes in Somalia,” FNP said.
The coalition made reference to the recent ENDF activities in Gedo region which multiple sources said the Ethiopian troops arrested local officials including blocking Jubbaland President Mohamud Sayyid Adan from visiting Belet-Hawo.
The deployment of Ethiopian forces outside AMISOM framework in Dhuusamareb is a clear indication that ‘Farmaajo administration wants to hijack the Galmudug election, as it did last year in the South West elections, where the election was rigged, and civilians were arrested and imprisoned,” Wadajir Party said in a separate statement.
FNP echoed similar concerns. “As we write this letter, ENDF has just deployed well-armed non AMISOM company in Dhuusa-mareeb, the capital of Galmudug Regional State, to interfere with the upcoming elections and ensure a “victory” for a predetermined candidate.”
Sources in Dhuusamareb confirmed to Goobjoog News the deployment of Ethiopian forces as preparation for the elections began Saturday. The elections parliamentary and presidential elections will be held between December 9 and December 23.