MOGADISHU, Somalia – One of Villa Somalia’s top officials was found dead at a hotel in the capital Mogadishu on Monday in the latest mysterious assassination showing shrinking security fortunes in the Horn of Africa, which has been battling instability for several years.
Since 1991, Somalia has not yet returned to normalcy after clan clashes, political duels and violent riots. Al-Shabaab militants have been a thorn in the flesh given their frequent attacks on security forces and innocent civilians, further causing insecurity in the fragile nation.
On Monday, Sharif Mohamud Ali alias Dofil was found dead at a city hotel, raising questions about the safety of security officers across the country. Until his death, the career officer was attached to Villa Somalia, the official residence of President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo.
The incident at the Ridwan Hotel has given rise to suspicion within Somalia given the officer’s high rank and the nature of his work. Villa Somalia is considered one of the safest places in Somalia, a country where security is a major challenge given the weak systems to fight terrorists.
His body has been detained by the elite research department, which has a mandate to investigate complex cases of murder and crime. The CID team has not yet issued a statement on the mysterious death that comes at a time when the country is undergoing a stream of political activities.
But sources said the officer met an unidentified woman at the hotel shortly before his lifeless body became discouraged. However, investigators do not yet have to issue a comprehensive report on the nature of their encounter and her real identity before conclusions are drawn as to whether it was murder or suicide.
Security forces are some of the main targets of Somalia-based Al-Shabaab militants who have been fighting to overthrow the fragile UN-backed Somalia government. The military target is also senior officials, spies and innocent civilians in their endless war within the Horn of Africa.
However, the group has not yet taken responsibility for the shocking incident. In most cases, Al-Shabaab takes responsibility for crimes committed through statements published on proxy media, and they often give reasons for their actions.
In the last few months, many cases of insecurity have been reported in the capital Mogadishu, further raising concerns about the safety of innocent civilians. Somalia is still largely dependent on external security assistance, provided by the African Union mission troops that have been in the country since 2008.
The mission troops are scheduled to leave the country in 2021 under the Somali Transitional Plan [STP]. Through the estimate, there are close to 22,000 AMISOM troops and police in Somalia, mainly picked from Kenya, Burundi, Uganda, Djibouti and Ethiopia, which are the most contributing nations.