Issues with the Defence Minister’s Role in the Conflict with Al-Shabaab in Somalia

Issues With The Defence Minister's Role In The Conflict With Al-shabaab In Somalia

Ware: My Concerns Regarding the Defence Minister in the Al-Shabaab Conflict in Somalia

MOGADISHU, Somalia – In a development that may cause a deep division within the presidency, Mohamed Abdi Waare, a former President of HirShabelle who currently serves as a special envoy for civilian protection and stabilization, has openly expressed his differences with Defence Minister Abdikadir Mohamed Nur amidst an ongoing crackdown against Al-Shabaab.

Over the past few weeks, Waare has been vocal in his criticism, suggesting that the minister is hindering the fight against Al-Shabaab, particularly in central Somalia. The Somali National Army (SNA) has deployed personnel in HirShabelle and Galmadug regions, conducting operations in areas that were not covered during the initial phase of the campaign against the group.

In an interview, Waare accuses Abdikadir Mohamed Nur of exceeding his role by directly interfering with troops and army commanders. There are currently several commanders from the SNA, the US Africa Command, and the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) stationed in central Somalia for the operation against Al-Shabaab.

According to the envoy, the Defence Minister is not only formulating policy but also issuing orders to troops, bypassing the established chain of command. This has led to confusion among officers leading the war against Al-Shabaab and other factions, claims Waare, an ally of President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud.

The envoy further alleges that the Defence Minister has been deceptive about presidential directives and has clandestinely disbursed funds to SNA leaders, raising concerns about the integrity of military operations. Nur has yet to respond to these allegations.

These accusations arise at a critical juncture when the federal government’s approach to the ongoing conflict is being scrutinized. Reports indicate that there is growing critique of the management of the war, lending further significance to these claims, especially as President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud regularly visits troops on the frontlines.

During the President’s visit to Mahas in Hiiraan, Mohamed Nur was noticeably absent, arousing suspicion among security analysts. A day prior to the presidential visit, Mohamed Abdi Waare had warned the minister against accompanying the president, labeling him a “divisive individual”.

In addition, the former leader questioned the Minister of Internal Affairs, Ahmed Fiqi, who originates from these regions, for publicly announcing the arrest of a senior member of Al-Shabaab on social media. Fiqi recently shared pictures of defectors from Al-Shabaab, causing public outrage.

Moreover, he accused tribes from Galmudug State of being deceitful in their efforts against Al-Shabaab, raising doubts about their loyalty to President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, who has been in Dhusamareeb for a month. He also expressed concerns about the federal government’s management of the Awsweyne conflict, where the withdrawal of SNA forces resulted in significant losses.

In Cawsweyne, dozens of soldiers are believed to have been killed last week, but the government has not provided details about the attack. The national army will now shift focus to Jubaland and Southwest states as they prepare for the second phase of operations against the militants.

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept