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Speaker demands Robow’s release, polls delay

Lower House speaker Mohamed Mursal has demanded the unconditional release of Mukhtar Robow and called for the postponement of the state presidential elections to allow calm return in Baidoa.

Addressing the media Saturday, Mursal said the arrest of Robow violated his constitutional rights as a Somali citizen adding his arrest denied the people of South West the right to choose their own leaders.

“According to the Provisional Constitution, every citizen is entitled to choice of a leader. Robow is a Somali citizen who has met all the requirements set by the electoral committee and awarded a certificate of clearance to run in the South West elections,” said Mursal.

Mursal who has been at loggerheads with the Federal Government over the House Finance Committee and the impeachment motion against President Mohamed Farmaajo also lashed out at the government for what he termed as ‘intimidation of people of South West’ and interference on their internal affairs.

READ ALSO: AMISOM denies Robow’s arrest as MPs accuse Mission of ‘violence’

Amnesty condemns civilian killings in Baidoa

Robow was arrested by Ethiopian forces Thursday and subsequently flown to Mogadishu. Amisom has since denied the involvement of its soldiers in the unrest which led to deaths among them of a state MP.

Rights group Amnesty International condemned the killing of civilians during the protests while the UN and other international partners in Mogadishu called for calm.

The speaker also urged traditional elders in South West to step in to calm the situation in Baidoa.

More than two hundred people have since been arrested by South West police and Ethiopia troops.