Garowe (Halgan.Online) – Police officers in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region staged a mutiny over unpaid salaries on Tuesday.
Residents reported that dozens of armed soldiers, using military vehicles, halted traffic on the road between Garowe and Bosaso. One soldier accused Puntland President Deni of diverting the salaries of Puntland forces for his election campaign.
President Deni is currently in Galkayo, attending a political rally for his organization, Kaah, seeking support. Meanwhile, as Deni’s election campaign continues, Puntland administration employees and security forces have been awaiting their salaries for months.
Puntland is set to hold statewide direct local elections on May 24, after a pilot election in December. Recently, troops closed a checkpoint in Galkayo while President Deni was visiting the town.
Somali Prime Minister Hamsa Abdi Barre has accused Puntland’s President Said Abdullahi Deni of being responsible for any setbacks in Somalia’s debt relief program. Speaking in Mogadishu on Monday night, Prime Minister Hamsa stressed that the federal government would not tolerate failure in the extensive debt forgiveness process.