The violent power struggle in Somalia appears to be intensifying in the capital Mogadishu where more heavy fighting has been reported on Tuesday.There has been simmering President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo extended his term in office by two years after it came to end end last February with the holding of elections to determine a new leader for the country.
Since then clashes have flared up intermittently between his supporters in the military and army factions backing the opposition who have who hold his extended stay in power as an “unconstitutional coup”.
Both sides have dug in their heels around Mogadishu where opposing forces have been engaged in hand to hand fighting, according to some eyewitness accounts.
Much of the violence as in the recent past are reportedly clan-based.
Terrified residents have been fleeing the city in droves, fearing more clashes in the coming days after fierce fighting on Sunday.
Independent media houses have been raided by troops loyal to Mr. Farmajo who is not being recognised as the president of Somalia by the opposition.
The international community have also refused to back his bid to stay in power following botched plans to hold crucial elections earlier this year.
Some of the mutineers are from a former militia group integrated into the regular army.
President Farmajo’s mandate expired on 8 February.
But without holding an election, he promulgated a law to extend it against the advice of the international community.
Since then, the Somali federation has descended into political crisis.
The country has been rocked by instability since long term ruler Siad Barre was toppled in an armed insurgency in 1991.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) has called on Somalis to opt for dialogue to avoid a further escalation of the violence.