Jubaland Elder Killed as Election Tensions Simmers

A traditional elder has been shot dead in the southern Somali city of Kismayo, police have confirmed.

Suldan Rashid Dhure Omar was killed on Wednesday night amid simmering political tensions in Jubaland State and its capital, Kismayo.

He was among elders selecting members for Jubaland’s assembly – these MPs are then due to elect the regional president later this month.

Police commander Ahmed Nasir Guled said it was not yet known who had killed Mr Omar.

Suspicion may fall on Islamist Al-Shabab militants, who often target those they see as collaborators.

However, in mid-July the group issued a warning to all regional council elders to withdraw from the political process within 45 days – and this killing has taken place within Al-Shabab’s “amnesty” period.

Tension is already high in Kismayo following last month’s Al-Shabab bombing of the Asasey hotel in which at least 26 people died, including a prominent journalist and several foreigners.

It was the worst attack to hit Kismayo since the al-Qaeda-linked insurgents were forced out of the city in 2012 by African Union and Somali government troops.