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Interior Minister opposes troop deployment in Beledweyne

MUQADISHU (SD) – Government officials and politicians from Hiraan region addressed the Federal Government of Somalia deploying a large number of armed forces to Beledweyne, the capital of Hiraan region.

Officials said the troops were not deployed in Beledweyne to fight Al Shabaab or electoral security, but were intended to intimidate the population, and called for their immediate withdrawal.

Among those who spoke about the government’s move was the Somali interior minister, who said he informed about the troop deployment to Beledweyne.

Minister Mukhtar Hussein Afrah issued a warning to the army, saying there was no need for the National Army to be used for political gain, at a time when there are serious fears of fighting in Beledweyne.

Former Somali Minister of Education Abdullahi Godah Barre also spoke at the event, and warned army commanders not to take the wrong action that could lead to fighting in the city.

The government forces deployed in Beledweyne are said to be aimed at removing the insurgents from the town.

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