A police officer was injured after a clash with reportedly drunk soldiers in Garowe. A tense situation unfolded in the capital of Puntland when armed militants apprehended a civilian at the police station on Saturday night. They hit the civilian’s car earlier, injuring the person on his head.
Garowe, Puntland, SOMALIA. By Yahya:
The Somali Digest interviewed local sources who described that the incident started when armed individuals hit the civilian’s car in the streets of Garowe. The soldiers, reportedly under the influence of alcohol or drugs, unleashed their anger on the civilian, causing a bloody injury on his head. The soldiers then took the individual to a local police station, insisting on his arrest.
When the police officers declined and instead urged the victim to seek medical assistance, the armed group attempted to disrupt the station. “We called for military assistance, and a heated confrontation ensued,” stated Deputy Police Commander Mohamud Bile Fardaful. The official army troops responded swiftly, capturing some of the militants. Others engaged in a firefight with the responders.
Security concerns in Garowe
The Deputy Commander emphasised the need for justice in this incident and assured the public that those responsible would face legal consequences. The incident highlights some residents’ concerns, who warn that the security situation in Garowe, especially at night, has been worsening. Some attribute it to the presence of militants led by General Jimale, the former commander of Puntland’s Danab force.
In early July, the Puntland government tried to address the situation. Puntland’s Ministry of Interior, Federal Affairs, and Reconciliation organised a conference that gathered critical stakeholders. The participants agreed on strictly prohibiting carrying weapons in the cities of Puntland, particularly in the capital. Moreover, authorities responsible for security, including law enforcement and other forces, have been directed to remain stationed in designated camps to distinguish themselves from potential troublemakers.
Nonetheless, as the most recent incident shows, not everyone abides by the directives.