Somali president in poll U-turn to stop Mogadishu clashes

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# 18:44
28 April 2021

Somalia's president has moved to ease tensions in the capital, Mogadishu, by calling for fresh presidential polls, APA reports citing BBC.

Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known by his nickname Farmajo, has said he will no longer seek a two-year extension to his term in office.

He had controversially approved the move last week after disagreements over how to hold elections.

But it provoked three days of clashes in Mogadishu between rival factions of the security forces.

There are fears the row could see Somalia lurch back towards the clan-based violence that scarred the country after the fall of the Siad Barre regime in 1991.

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Mohamed Roble has urged civilians who fled their neighbourhoods during the fighting to return home.

Forces loyal to the president and those backing the opposition have been occupying different parts of the city.

The UN says between 60,000 and 100,000 people have left their homes since Sunday.

There has been a reduction in troop movements in the city following President Farmajo's late-night address on Tuesday.

He said he would revert to an original plan to hold elections.

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THE OPERATION IS BEING PERFORMED