Mogadishu (PP Features) — Reports that prices of guns have spiked in Mogadishu, point to a worrisome trend in the capital of Somalia.

In November 2016, preparations for the 2017, elections were in full swing.

The agreement between the Federal Government and Federal Member States on key principles to guide elections lent consensus–based legitimacy on what had become known as Vision 2016.

In November 2020, the fear of post-election civil war in Mogadishu dominates the minds of many people.

But elections are currently on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic. To the north west, across a porous, and at times non-existent border region, Taiwan’s diplomatic ally in the region, Somaliland is also scheduled to hold elections in the spring of 2021.

Several factors account for the fear about post-election violence.

Clan-militias who have been absorbed into security forces run Mogadishu districts.

In addition, key political leaders have their own militias in respected districts.

Former Prime Minister Hassan Ali Kheire has militias loyal to him in Dayniile and parts of Hawlwadaag; former Presidents Sharikh Sheikh Ahmed and Hassan Sheikh Mohamud have militias in Kaaraan.

General-turned warlord Yusuf Mohamud Indha’adde’s forces are in Hodan and parts of Wardhigley.

In Southern Somalia politicians have never demobilised clan militias.

They have just rebranded them as security forces. In 2018, the security reform in Southern Somalia uncovered thousands of phantom soldiers on the payroll.

In Mogadishu a Kalashnikov costs almost twice as much as it did three months ago.

The organisation of security forces into clan fiefdoms has resulted in a weaker judiciary.

“Somalis go to Toorotoorow for justice” said former President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud two days ago at the opposition politicians’ consultative summit in Mogadishu, apparently in reference to Al-shabaab courts that dispense justice and conduct hearings on property disputes.

The Al-shabaab judiciary wielded more influence when President Hassan Sheikh occupied Villa Somalia, as Abdirahman Abdishakur, a presidential candidate argued in 2016.

Its tentacles are hard to disentangle from Mogadishu security forces.

The proscribed group thrives on the deep structural weaknesses of the security forces in Mogadishu.

“When someone lodges a complaint with Al-shabaab about a property dispute, the group summons the other party and starts the hearing to make a ruling on the case quickly. No case takes more than a week” says a political analyst in Mogadihsu who asked for anonymity.

The power of clan-based security forces in Mogadishu cannot be underestimated.

The soldier who killed a Somali Federal Government Minister in 2017, has still not been punished for the crime he committed.

The men who killed Ahmed Dowlo, in 2018, are still in jail.

The Federal Government fears it will alienate powerful clans of if some people convicted of murder are punished for their crimes.

There is widespread abuse of power by security forces in Mogadishu districts. Recently security forces in a Mogadishu district arrested and then released a male suspect who raped a five-year old girl.

The rapist is related to some policemen at the police station.

“Mogadishu people dealt with the problem of warlords and militias in 2006. A feeble federal government imposed on us the same forces that had bitten the dust 14 years ago” says a teacher in Hodan district.

“We cannot rule out post-election violence because it is built into the very institutions that are supposed to protect us against militias. Spike in gun prices augurs post-election war in Mogadishu” he added.

This article first appeared in the © Puntland Post and is republished with permission.

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