Wadajir Party chairperson arrested in Mogadishu

By Asad Cabdullahi Mataan

Security forces have arrested the chairperson of an opposition party and his associate while the pair were having lunch at a popular hotel in the nation’s capital.

Kamal Gutale, the Chairman of Wadajir and his Secretary General Sayid Ali have been arrested while dining at Makka Mukaramah Hotel.

There has been no official statement on the reason behind the arrest.

Kamal Gutale previously served as the chief of staff in the Hassan Sheikh Mohamud administration.

Mr. Gutale was vocal in his support Abdirahman Abdishakur – A member of his political party – who was arrested on December 17 during a deadly night raid which resulted in the death of several of Abdishakur’s bodyguards.

Mr. Gutale was also present at the home during the time of the fatal raid. Shortly after, he tweeted “Government forces attacked our HQs with 20 armed vehicles, shelling the house for around 20 minutes with heavy guns and ammunitions [sic], so far 4 of our guards has been killed by @TheVillaSomalia militias, many also injured!!”

Internal Security Ministry Abdiasis Ali told reporters at the time tat Abdishakur was arrested for treason.

Abdishakur was released two days later without charge.

The home of Senator Abdi Hassan Awale Qaybdiid, a former militia leader and chief of police was raided and ransacked less than two weeks later.

The Special Representative of UN Secretary-General to Somalia, Michael Keating told the Security Council this week that politics in Somalia remains “turbulent” due in part to these violent arrests by the National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA).