Mogadishu, 16 October 2015 – At least five female passengers have been raped and robbed by gunmen who mounted roadblocks along the road connecting Mareeray to the other parts of the region. Residents of Mareeray town have decried alleged harassment by gunmen dressed in Somali National Army uniform that erected roadblocks along the road leading to the town. Mareeray chief, Sayid Baale Mayow speaking to Goobjoog has expressed concern over security of the roads leading to that town. “At least five female passengers have been raped for last 24 hours and the mounted roadblocks are increasing day after day” he said. He underscored that Somali government will launch operations to clear illegal roadblocks soon.
One driver was so frustrated that he said he had to stopped operating from the route “I am driving Mini-bus with the capacity of 14 passengers, and every few kilometres they demand Shs220 ($10) , then what is left for me, the other day they opened fire on another passenger car breaking the driver’s legs, this is done by soldiers who demand unreasonable money” said the driver. He added “We have lots of problem with these illegal checkpoints in Lower Shabelle region because we cannot afford the amount of money we are being forced to pay,” The association of Transporters in Lower Shabelle region called on the Federal government to intervene.
Armed men with SNA uniform have reportedly set up roadblocks to embezzle cash from drivers who constantly use the busy main highway connecting the Lower Shabelle region. According to local sources, more than 10 roadblocks have been setup between two towns in the Lower Shabelle region. The federal government carried out several operations to remove the illegal roadblocks but little has changed according drivers and owners of public transport vehicles.
Source: Goobjoog News