Government Issues Stance Warning As Mogadishu’s Bakara Traders Admit Paying Thousands Of Dollars As Protection Fee To Alshabaab
In Kismayo the issue took a center stage in the ongoing federal cabinet meeting.
Internal security minister issued a warning on anyone having links to the militant group in any form.
The minister told the cabinet meetinTraders at Mogadishu’s largest market Bakara have been paying a double tax to both Alshabaab abd the government, Radio Dalsan has revealed.
A trader at the market told Radio Dalsan that they have been forced to pay a “protection fee” to the group.
“All the big shops you see in Bakara have to pay a tax to Alshabaab or they risk facing consequences” a trader who spoke on condition of anonymity told Radio Dalsan.
“I have been paying it myself. Its for my own security. If I don’t pay they can assassinate you. I am only protecting myself and business” the trader said.
“Usually the Alshabaab would call directly to ascertain our adherence to paying the protection fee” he added.
In an interview with VOA the Benaadir Police Boss also confirmed that traders at Bakara are extorted by Alshabaab.g that anyone linked to Alshabaab will be assumed to be a supporter or member.
Former cabinet minister Abdirahman Abdishakur expressed alarm at the revelation
“I hope the Cabinet in Kismayo will seriously discuss this critical issue” he tweeted