Today from Hiiraan Online:  _
Public Campaign Against Illega Militia Checkpoints kicks off in Galmdug

Hiiraan Online Staff
Saturday, April 02, 2011

A public campaign against  illegal checkpoints by freelance gunmen on the Galkayo -Galinsor Road has begun in Southern Galkayo, the capital of Galmudug Region of Somalia.

The campaign, which was organized by members across the social spectrum including Galmudug students,youth groups,the clergy,women groups, scholars and the Galmudug Business Communtiy, is intended to eradicate the menace of gun-totting and trigger happy freelance gunmen who man illegal checkpoints at which they rob people using  the road connecting Galkayo with Galinsoor.

Galmudug leaders have succeeded to dismantle several illegal checkpoints in the past few days and this new campaign to root out the culture of extortion by young gunmen on the Galmudug roads seems to be gathering momentum and building on the progress already made in weening young freelance gunmen off the chance to rob passengers on vehicles plying between the towns in the region.

Schools and colleges in Galmudug remain closed as students take part in the effort to clear the roads off bandits. Also, reports reaching Hiiraan Online news desk suggest there appears that young men in Galmudug are arming themselves and preparing to fight with the highway robbers in case they resist their public campaign and  attack them.

There has been a huge problem of banditry in Galmudug recently which paralyzed road travel and which forced motorists to use long rough roads through other regions in an attempt to avoid being robbed.Before the public campaign begun, vehicles confiscated by the gunmen manning the illegal checkpoints after they failed to pay money were a constant feature of the roads of this banditry prone area of Central Somalia.  This made the price of essential commodities to go up sharply, prompting the public to take the law into their hands.

Meanwhile,  the row between the most senior leaders of Galmudug regional government and the members of the  Galmudug local parliament has intensified, greatly disappointing the residents of the areas under the Galmudug Administration which may undermine the goals already accomplished.