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One Person Dies in Somalia Riots

June 28, 1999

MOGADISHU, Somalia (AP) _ Furious over a flood of imported Somali shillings that have devalued their currency, a group of protesting Somalis burst into a riot that ended with one person dead.

Hundreds of people began protesting at the Bakara marketplace Sunday, throwing stones and trying to break into businesses where the new money is kept, a businessman at the market said on condition of anonymity.

Guards opened fire on the mob, leaving one person dead before stores were closed for the day.

There is no central bank or other national financial institutions in Somalia. The country has had no central government since 1991, when warlords who had joined together to oust dictator Mohamed Siad Barre turned on each other.

The shooting came four days after the arrival in Somalia of $1.9 million worth of Somali shillings ordered by local businessmen and warlord Hussein Mohamed Aidid. This was the fourth such shipment of Somali shillings this year, bringing the total for 1999 to approximately $9.5 million.

Public anger over the shipments has grown over the past few days, as the shipments caused the shilling to devaluate.

Aidid, who controls much of south Mogadishu, and his business rivals have fought over shipments of the money, with both saying it belongs to them. The money was printed in Ottawa, Canada by the Adorna Group of Malaysia.

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