Somali lawmaker condemns use of live ammunition against protesters in Mogadishu

A federal Somali lawmaker, Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame, has strongly condemned the government’s use of violent response against demonstrators protesting the arrest of a military officer, as members of the security forces used live ammunition on protests in Mogadishu on Sunday.

MP Warsame criticized the manner in which Somali government forces captured Captain Shegow Ahmed Ali on Saturday, describing it as a deviation from established governmental protocols. He emphasized that Shegow was a military officer, necessitating a court order for his arrest.

“I condemn the use of live ammunition in today’s demonstration in Mogadishu. While I do not endorse the violence and stone-throwing by protesters, the use of live ammunition is even more perilous. The actions of the soldiers who carried out the officer’s arrest were indefensible, and we were silent due to the government’s current operations against al-Shabab,” Warsame stated.

“If the situation reaches the shooting of protesters, and the government remains silent, we must establish that today’s actions amount to a crime. I am defending the protesters who were shot and the sanctity of our rights beyond the confines of our immediate surroundings. We must ensure that such actions are not repeated,” the MP continued.

Supporters of former Somali military Captain Shegow Ahmed Ali flooded the streets of Mogadishu on Sunday, demonstrating against his recent arrest by the Somali police in the capital.

The security guards of the Presidential Palace used live ammunition to disperse the demonstrators. No casualties have been reported.

Somali police forces captured the former military captain Sheegow Ahmed Ali and 25 of his armed men following an hours-long security operation in Mogadishu on Saturday.

The police accused him of destabilizing the security of the capital and fighting against the security forces. The Police spokesman alleged that stolen mobile phones and fake bank notes were found in his home.

On February 19, 2021, security forces opened fire on protesters led by prominent politicians, including Abdirahman Abdishakur, former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheyre, and officials who opposed the previous government of Mohamed Abdullahi Farmaajo.