Retreat of Somali Forces from Frontlines Prompts Inquiries
MOGADISHU, Somalia – In a surprising twist of events that has left many questioning the government’s strategy against Al-Shabaab, the Somali armed forces have pulled back from several recently liberated villages in Galmudug state.
This development comes shortly after the successful capture of the strategic district of Elbur by the military. The areas that are now devoid of military presence include El-Dheer, Budbud, Galcad, and Masagaway. This has raised concerns among troops stationed in Elbur and Harardhere, who fear potential isolation due to the withdrawal from surrounding areas.
While maintaining anonymity, officials within the army defended the move as part of a comprehensive war strategy. They were keen to stress that the Somali army is fully capable of defeating Al-Shabaab and that the withdrawal is not indicative of weakness.
However, reports indicate that the sudden retreat almost jeopardized the safety of Minister of Defense Abdiqadir Mohamed Noor and Chief of Security Mahad Salad, adding another layer of complexity to the situation.
The withdrawal has also spurred a wave of questions within the Somali community, particularly considering the loss of numerous soldiers in the liberation of these cities.
The primary concern lies in comprehending the rationale behind this seemingly abrupt shift in military strategy. The absence of a local army to ensure security in these areas further complicates the situation. This is due to the vastness of the region, the ongoing war, and the limited influence of local tribes.
Adding to the list of concerns, Axadle has received information suggesting a conflict between the Armed Forces Commander, General Ibrahim Sheikh Muhyadeen, and Minister of Defense Abdiqadir Mohamed Noor.
The discord allegedly originates from divergent opinions on how best to combat Al-Shabaab, and there has been growing criticism regarding the recent series of terrorist attacks on military bases.
As the Somali armed forces reassess their approach, the nation observes with anticipation. The recent withdrawal has not only raised questions regarding the effectiveness of the military’s current tactics but has also exposed internal divisions that could significantly impact the ongoing war against Al-Shabaab.