Somalia’s President and Hawadle Community Leaders Forge Ahead with Joint Efforts against al-Shabab Extremists

Somalia's President And Hawadle Community Leaders Forge Ahead With Joint Efforts Against Al-shabab Extremists

On Wednesday, September 6, 2023, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud held a meeting in Mahas district with representatives from the Hawadle community, including politicians, traditional elders, and lawmakers. Among those in attendance were Hirshabelle Vice President Yusuf Ahmed Hagar (Dabageed), former Hiiraan region governor Ali Jeyte Osman, lawmaker Abdullahi Mohamed Ali Sanbalolshe, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources Abdirisaaq Omar Mohamed, and other politicians. The purpose of the meeting was to discuss and strategize on how to intensify military operations against the militants in the Hiiraan region.

President Mohamud expressed his appreciation for the Hiiraan region community and politicians for their significant contributions in combating the al-Shabab group and initiating an uprising in the central Somali region. He emphasized that Somalia’s progress and development are hindered by a common enemy and highlighted the importance of overcoming differences of opinion to achieve unity and meaningful victories in the country’s liberation struggle.

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Recently, Beledweyne has emerged as a focal point for local community mobilization against al-Shabab. Led by local officials, including the former governor of the Hiiraan region, Ali Jeyte Osman, community forces have been supporting the Somali government forces and successfully reclaiming numerous villages from the militant group.

However, a few months ago, Hirshabelle President Ali Hussein Guudlawe dismissed Ali Jeyte Osman from his position as the governor of the Hiiraan region and appointed Abdullahi Ahmed Maalin Sufurow as his replacement. Despite this, Jeyte has refused to step down, and local residents have allegedly elected him as the interim President of Hiiraan State, a government that is not recognized by the Federal government.

The disagreement between Jeyte and the leadership of the Hirshabelle administration stems from a proposal to centralize tax collection from the Hiiraan region. Jeyte strongly opposes this centralization, believing it would divert crucial resources from the fight against al-Shabab and hinder ongoing efforts against the militant group.

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