Members of the Somali Parliament representing the Jarer Weyne community in both chambers have strongly condemned the recent arrest of Military Captain Shegow Ahmed Ali and his contingent of 25 armed personnel in Mogadishu.
Senators and MPs held a press conference in Mogadishu on Monday to express their discontent with the government’s handling of the military officer’s arrest and that of his soldiers. They called for a prompt investigation into the circumstances surrounding the arrest.
The parliamentarians expressed that the fatalities, injuries, and damage resulting from the arrest could have been averted, characterizing the events as oppressive.
A police officer and two soldiers under Captain Shegow’s command were killed. In contrast, four others sustained injuries during an exchange of gunfire between the police and Shegow’s loyal forces in Mogadishu’s Dharkeynley district on Saturday.
The MPs and senators from the Jarer Weyne community have appealed to the Federal Government of Somalia to safeguard the rights and well-being of the apprehended officer and his men, stressing their expectation of a fair legal process. They also called for protecting citizens’ constitutional rights to peaceful assembly and expression.
Demonstrations supporting the detained officer and his team have been occurring in Mogadishu, Jowhar, and Beledweyne since Sunday. During a protest in Beledweyne town on Monday, security forces opened fire on demonstrators, resulting in one person’s death and two others sustaining injuries. Prior to this, security forces in Mogadishu had also fired on protestors near the Presidential Palace on Saturday.
Federal lawmaker Abdirahman Abdishakur Warsame strongly criticized the government’s violent tactics against demonstrators rallying against the military officer’s arrest. He emphasized that Shegow held the rank of an army officer, necessitating a court order for his detention.
“I condemn the use of live ammunition in Sunday’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.
The detained military captain, Sheegow Ahmed Ali, and his 25 armed men were apprehended by Somali police forces on allegations of undermining the capital’s security and engaging in clashes with security personnel. A police spokesperson claimed to have found stolen mobile phones and counterfeit banknotes at his residence.