Mogadishu, Somalia – Somalia’s terrorist group al-Shabaab has threatened to attack electoral representatives who select lawmakers in parliamentary elections starting next week.
The Islamic terrorist group has threatened to disrupt upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in the Horn of Africa country.
The group’s leader, Ahmed Abu Ubaidah, said on Tuesday that he was opposed to the election process and threatened electoral representatives.
He said that delegates should not be deceived by hollow promises such as financial benefits and secret ballot, and think about the fate of previous representatives who participated in the 2017 elections, some of whom were killed and others still in fear. are living.
Al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for attacks that killed dozens of delegates during the last election process in 2017.
Ubaidah urged delegates to reconsider their decision to run in this year’s election, saying those who disregard al-Shabaab will not be safe.
Voting begins this Sunday with Somalia’s influential clans electing 54 members of the upper house of parliament.
Abdislam Gulaid, former deputy director of the Somali intelligence agency NISA, said the latest threat is aimed at creating an atmosphere of fear among those involved in the election.
He said the new threats to the upcoming historic elections in the country should not be taken lightly by the group, stressing that a coordinated response is needed. He said that while the threats would certainly affect the elections, the group would not be able to achieve its main goal of halting the democratic process in Somalia.
The Somali Security Force, AMISOM, in collaboration with the African Union Force in Somalia, is gearing up to ensure the safety and security of the elections.
The Principal Security Adviser in Somalia’s Prime Minister Abdi Dirshe’s office said no stone would be left unturned to counter the latest threats.
He added that the federal government’s policy regarding the al-Shabaab group is very clear and thus they will be defeated and removed from the country. He said there is a security plan in place to ensure the security of all election places across the country.
The Somali elections were delayed by a year due to disagreements over the procedure. Lawmakers tried to extend the term of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo, but reversed the move under pressure from opposition groups and the international community.