Ali Jeyte Osman appointed to lead counter-terrorism efforts in Hiiraan after discussions with Somali president
Friday September 8, 2023
Ali Jeyte Osman – FILE PHOTO
The city of Beledweyne witnessed a significant development in the fight against terrorism as Ali Jeyte Osman emerged as the appointed leader to combat terrorism in the Hiiraan and parts of Galmudug regions. This decision was reached after a series of productive meetings between President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, federal MPs, and respected elders. A crucial meeting held in the Mahaas district concluded with the agreement that Osman, already serving as the leader of Hiran State Administration, would assume the role of interim President of Hiiraan and lead the charge against terrorism.
The agreement outlines a direct support system from the federal government to bolster the war efforts and enhance coordination to effectively combat the threats posed by Al-Shabaab. While matters concerning the future of Hiiraan State and local grievances with the federal government were also touched upon, a decision was made to delve into these discussions in greater depth at an undisclosed future date.
Elaborating on the agreement, Osman emphasized the need to prioritize eliminating enemies for the sake of peace and stability. He expressed his willingness to address the outstanding issues once the country attains a state of stability. Osman explained, “The president urged us to temporarily put aside our concerns and focus on eradicating the enemies of our nation. I agreed because dialogue is the key to resolving our problems in a peaceful country. We will revisit our concerns when the conditions are favorable. That is why it was postponed.”
Furthermore, Osman called upon all Somali citizens to unite in the face of Al-Shabaab, drawing inspiration from the 1977 war between Somalia and Ethiopia as evidence that the terrorist organization can be defeated. He stated firmly, “Al Sheydan can be defeated. As you may recall, Somalia had a smaller army and population compared to Ethiopia during the 1977 war. Now, with a larger population and more robust military force, why should we not resist? Let us surpass falsehoods and understand that this war is essential for all Somalis, not just a select few.”
His rallying cry primarily aimed at the residents of Hiiraan, who have consistently played a leading role in the nationwide fight against the Al-Shabaab group. This strategic move forms part of a broader initiative to address the escalating threat of terrorism in the region.
Al-Shabaab, an extremist fundamentalist group based in East Africa, originated as the youth division of the Islamic Courts Union and gradually evolved into a radical organization associated with Al-Qaeda. Operating primarily in Somalia, they have orchestrated numerous attacks targeting government institutions and civilians. Despite ongoing efforts by the Somali federal government, with support from African Union troops and international allies, to regain control over territories held by Al-Shabaab, the group remains a significant menace to regional stability.