Hargeisa, Somalia — At least 5 people were killed and scores injured after a land dispute turned violent between civilians and Somaliland's armed security forces in the northern breakaway region's capital, Hargeisa, Radio Garowe reports.
The dispute was over land that belonged to the former government of President Siad Barre. According to local sources in Hargeisa the Somaliland government sold the disputed land to a businessman. The alleged owners of the disputed land, took the case to court but their appeal was turned down by the Somaliland courts.
According to Hargeisa media the clashes erupted after Somaliland authorities tried to evict the alleged owners of the land. The clashes led to 5 deaths including 3 police officers and two civilians.
After the conflict paused a British trained and heavily armed unit was called in to disperse the angry crowd that gathered in the New Hargeisa neighborhood. The Resistant Reaction Unit (RRU) clashed with the angry crowd shortly after arriving at the scene. The clashes led to more injuries and according to a Somaliland website a mother was wounded in the conflict.
Fowzia Yusuf Adan leader of the NDP party in Somaliland, was briefly jailed in Hargeisa after her and other party leaders protested a ruling which banned them from registering their political parties. Fowzia who spoke to reporters concerning Tuesday's incident said, "Using military force to quiet people, this is one of the methods that the Somaliland government uses to suppress the civilians, I pray that the God have mercy on the departed and hope the injured regain their health."
The Somaliland government has yet to release a statement on Tuesday's clashes.