An official said soldiers in Somalia’s northeastern semiautonomous territory of Puntland mutinied on Tuesday over unpaid salaries.
According to Abdinour Abdi Ahmed, a security official in Puntland’s Bari region, soldiers seized a security checkpoint in Garowe, the state’s administrative capital, in the early hours of Tuesday.
“The situation is under control right now,” Ahmed added, adding, “but there has been a mutiny staged by some soldiers who claim they haven’t received their salaries.”
The soldiers who staged the mutiny, on the other hand, acted professionally and did not damage anyone while closing a critical route connecting Garowe and Bosaso cities in the state.
Bosaso is a commercial port city of the semiautonomous state located on the southern coast of the Gulf of Aden, 1,414 kilometers (878 miles) northeast of Mogadishu.
The revolt took place on the same day that the region’s President, Said Abdullahi Deni, was addressing a campaign rally in Galkayo town ahead of the contentious local council elections.
Puntland’s scheduled local elections aroused debate in the state, and Dani’s detractors called the election divisive.
Deni accused Somalia’s President Hassan Sheikh Mahamud of opposing Puntland’s democratization in a speech to his Kaah party supporters in Galkayo on Tuesday.
This comes just hours after Somalia’s Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre chastised Puntland’s authorities for their strained relations with the federal administration, accusing him of damaging state development programs.
Relations between the federal authority in Mogadishu and the northern state have deteriorated since Puntland declared its independence.