Two people killed & several wounded in Somaliland after demonstration vented over poll irregularities


Two people were killed and several others sustained injuries after demonstrations over alleged poll irregularities turned chaotic in Burao and Hargeisa towns of the breakaway Somaliland on Thursday night, officials and witnesses confirmed.

Violent protests erupted in different parts of Marodi-Jeh and Togdher regions following the announcement by the main opposition party to cut off cooperation with Somaliland National Election Commission (NEC).

Togdher deputy governor, Mohamed Diriye Haydh  who spoke to BBC Somali Service said one person was killed and several others including police officer wounded when  violent protests started in Burao town.

“ I can confirmed the death of person and several other were injured in the protests. Among the injured is a police officer who was shot by unknown protester,” said Haydn.

The police dispersed the demonstrators by lobbing teargas canisters at them but the protesters were regrouping themselves till mid night.

Elsewhere in Hargeisa town, a woman was killed as hundreds of irate Wadani supporters who took the streets clashed with the law enforcement agencies.

According reliable sources, the demonstrators engaged police forces in running battle on Thursday night.

“The police shot a woman protester following clashes between the officers and the angry Wadani supporters,” said the source.

Meanwhile, Wadani presidential candidate Abdirahman Mohamed Irro called on his supporters to maintain peace.

“ I call upon the supporters of Wadani  to keep calm and maintain peace. We keep watching on what the election commission is going to do,” said Irro.

The spokesperson of Somaliland National Election Commission (NEC), Said Ali Muse in response to Wadani’s accusations over fake ballot papers said the papers used during the just concluded elections had security features which cannot be altered.

“The ballot papers we used for this election have security features and were imported from abroad therefore there is no way they be printed internally,” said Muse during an interview with BBC Somali Service.

On Thursday evening,  Wadani Party cut off cooperation with NEC, citing irregularities during voting last Monday.