The clashes within the state capital, Garowe, erupted throughout a parliamentary session to debate modifications to the native structure, which the opposition claims is a bid by Puntland’s president to increase his time period in workplace.
“Round eight individuals have been confirmed lifeless within the combating and greater than 10 others have been wounded, together with civilians,” stated Abdiweli Hassan, a police officer in Garowe.
He stated the violence broke out when gunmen loyal to opposition politicians confronted safety forces defending parliament and tried to disrupt the session.
“They’ve been defeated and the state of affairs on the town is calm now,” he stated, including: “Nobody can be allowed to behave above the legislation.”
One witness, Mohamednur Ali, stated he noticed round six lifeless our bodies and several other wounded individuals, including: “The combating was very intense and either side used heavy machine weapons.
“The state of affairs is regular now however there’s nonetheless sporadic gunfire,” Ali stated.
One other witness, Nimo Adan, stated she was caught up within the crossfire and noticed a number of individuals killed.
In Could, Puntland held native elections that have been the primary direct polls in Somalia in additional than half a century, exterior the breakaway area of Somaliland.
On the time, opposition politicians accused Puntland state president Mentioned Abdullahi Deni of manipulating the election process and in search of to amend the structure to allow him to increase his mandate which is because of finish in January subsequent yr.
Later in Could, Somalia’s central authorities and 4 federal member states — excluding Puntland — introduced a deal for a one-person one-vote system to be launched with native elections set for June subsequent yr.
It adopted a pledge by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud in March to finish the advanced clan-based oblique voting system within the Horn of Africa nation, which has been mired in chaos for many years.
Somalia has not held direct elections nationwide since 1969, when the dictator Siad Barre seized energy.
However the brand new plan additionally requires parliamentary and presidential votes within the federal states on November 30 subsequent yr, past the present expiry dates of some mandates together with Deni’s time period.
An arid oil-rich area in northeastern Somalia, Puntland declared autonomy in 1998 and relations with the central authorities in Mogadishu have typically been tense.