While elders demand fast action from government on the blunder by police and Opposition parties castigated for interference in security related issues by Sanaag deputy governor
By: Yusuf M Hasan
ERIGAVO (Somaliland sun) – Following the police attempt to arrest one of their own suspected of gunning running and subsequent gunfight with civilians resulting in injuries security forces have been placed at heightened alert.
Despite the high alert revealed at a press briefing by Sanaag regional authorities namely the deputy governor and police commander the situation in Erigavo town is back to normal while injured civilians and police officers are responding to treatment.
According to the Sanaag regional police commander Major Asseyr Yusuf Mahmud The incident ensued after police pursued the suspected gunrunner, himself a senior police officer, to his house where the officers were confronted by heavily armed civilians who opened fired injuring several officers and in response one police officer was seriously injured.
“In addition to the bullet wounded officer seven others sustained injuries from stones thrown by members of community deterring the arrest” said Major Yusuf
The police commander who acknowledged the inappropriateness of security personnel use force in homesteads occupied by women and children which in addition to the heavily armed civilians forced officers to not only cease pursuit of suspect arrest but retreat from the scene as well.
At the same time the deputy Sanaag regional governor Ismail Abdi Hasan has informed that supremacy of law enforcement over clan affiliations is undisputable thence confrontational attitudes and deterrence of police in their work should cease in the region.
Revealing that security forces in Erigavo town and entire district as whole have been placed in heightened alert status the regional boss who urged residents to cooperate also took issue with opposition political parties for their castigations of actions that ensued in the town during the abort and disastrous attempt to arrest the police officer suspected of gun running.
The regional authorities were commenting in reaction to disturbances that rocked the town when security were confronted by residents culminating in injuries that resulted in protest demonstration that rocked the town following injury to over 15 citizens who together with a number of policemen are currently receiving treatment at the public hospitals.
In reference to condemnations by the opposition party Wadani as pertains the heavy use of power utilized by police against civilians the deputy governor who urged politicians secure factual information before castigating government said that in the contrary the sense of duty displayed by security personnel upon being confronted by police is worth applauds.
On the other hand, elders have demanded prompt action by the government upon those behind the incident they termed ugly that Saw residents attacked by police in their homes and subsequent injuries inflicted.
At a public meeting held at the Erigavo public gardens attended by a large number of elders and traditional leaders who accused police of heavy handedness asked both the regional and central governments to expedite punitive action against those behind the orders that ensued tragically.
“A person charged with authority must have issued the orders courtesy of either the local Erigavo , Sanaag regional or Somaliland central authorities thence our demand for action” read a statement by the elders.
Claiming that residents are law abiding citizens the elders stated that repeated brutality meted upon them might be counterproductive thence urgent measures must be pursued before things turn out of hand.
By the time of going to press the situation in Erigavo town and entire Sanaag region is calm though the senior officer suspected of gun running is still at-large and the alleged cache of weapons imported via the local port of Mayd and denied by elders remains un accouted for by law enforcers.
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