Tension builds up in Somalia as regional leader visits town

There have been clashes between government forces and militia fighters opposing the visit by Ali Gudlawe, whose election in 2020 violated HirShabelle state's power-sharing system. 

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Tension builds up in Somalia as regional leader visits town

BELEDWEYNE, Somalia - Beledweyne, a key city in central Somalia woke up to tension and mortar shelling at its airport on Sunday morning ahead of HirShabelle President Ali Gudlawe.

Heavily armed Somali government forces have been deployed to the main roads in Beledweyne last night, blocking all movement of people and vehicles as part of Gudlawe's protection. 

Mr. Gudlawe was accorded a warm welcome at the airport by his deputy Yusuf Daba-Geed, Hiran governor Ali Jeyte and military commanders from SNA and AMISOM after mortar shelling. 

There have been clashes between government forces and militia fighters opposing the visit by Ali Gudlawe, whose election in 2020 violated HirShabelle state's power-sharing system. 

The regional leader has failed in several attempts to visit Beledweyne after local militia has taken positions in the town and engaged in a battle with Somali government troops since last year.

This is the first time Ali Gudlawe pays a trip to the city since he assumed power two years ago. He is based in Jowhar, 90 Kms north of the capital, Mogadishu under Burundian troops' guard.

KEYDMEDIA English 

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