On Tuesday, a young man named Mahdi Diiriye Adan, a bajaj taxi driver, was reportedly shot and murdered by Somali government soldiers. According to eyewitnesses, the troops opened fire on Adan while guarding a government official in a bulletproof car traveling on Zoobe Road in Mogadishu.
In response to Adan’s death, fellow bajaj drivers protested by blocking the route. The government forces used live bullets to disperse the protesters. Bajaj drivers have complained that despite paying higher taxes to the government, they are not being protected by soldiers who are fast to use their rifles.
One of the Bajaj taxi drivers said, “I just paid $15 in tax money ten minutes ago and came from the Banadir region. It’s unfair that the money we pay in taxes is used to buy bullets to kill and injure us daily.” They report that attacks on them have become more frequent in recent months and are calling on the government to rein in aggressive soldiers.
In late January, another Bajaj taxi driver named Mohamed Hayle was killed
by Mogadishu police during an altercation near the Howl-Wadaag intersection. Within minutes, other bajaj drivers arrived at the scene and confronted the police, demanding the arrest of the offending officer.