Friday, April 17, 2009

Somaliland: Police Storms Offices of Opposition Party In Burao

Somaliland: Police Storms Offices of Opposition Party In Burao

11 April 2009 | News

BURAO (Somaliland Globe) — The Somaliland police have stormed the offices of KULMIYE, the main opposition party in Somaliland today.  As the police raided the office a number of journalists from the independent media have been gathered there for a press conference organized the by the party.

As the Police commandos stormed the office, the supporters and leaders of KULMIYE ordered them to leave the building.  The police refused and fired shots into the air.  The KULMIYE  supporters and leaders responded by hitting and stoning the police.  A lengthy and nasty fist fight between the police and the supporters ensued where base ball bats were used.  At the end the Police left the building.  It is not known how many people were injured in the fight.

The Rayale administration has been cracking down on the opposition supporters and leaders lately, since the opposition has withdrawn its recognition of the current administration.  On April 6, the leader of the opposition party, Mr Silanyo, who was the longest serving chairman of SNM the guerrilla organization that liberated Somaliland from Siyad Barre's rule, was shot at by the Police after peaceful demonstrations and march in the capital city.

The police and military spokesmen refused to speak about the incident when we asked for information about the police raid today.  KULMIYE party on its side confirmed that their office was attacked today, adding that the government was trying to start a war and destabilize Somaliland.

At the press conference, the party reaffirmed its position rejecting the Guurti's extension for Rayale tenure in office by six months. Party officials said they are always supportive of the peace, but said they are within their rights to organize peaceful demonstrations.

The party also reported similar harassment from the police few days ago by their staff at Hargeisa and Berbera district offices.

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