Somalia’s Unsettling Move: Dismissing Leading Anti-Shabaab Activist Deals Blow to Counter-Terror Efforts

Somalia's Unsettling Move: Dismissing Leading Anti-shabaab Activist Deals Blow To Counter-terror Efforts
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by EMMANUEL WANJALA
Monday June 19, 2023

The war against the al Shaabab terror group has taken a hit. The regional governor in Somalia, who has been leading the local resistance against the militia group, has been dismissed. It’s a surprising and highly unexpected development.

President Ali Gudlawe Hussein of the Hirshabelle State of Somalia issued a decree on Saturday, relieving Ali Jeyte Osman of his duties as governor of central Somalia’s Hiran region. Abdullahi Ahmed Maalin has been appointed as his replacement.

Locals are perplexed and confused by this decision. “Not a good timing. In my opinion, Jeyte is a very influential member of his community, and I hope that he does not abandon his responsibilities,” says Warsame, a native.

Ali Jeyte was known for his leadership in the fight against al Shabaab in the Hiran region. He had the ability to articulate issues and solve problems effectively. He was also seen as less corrupt compared to other leaders.

In April 2023, Ali Jeyte survived an assassination attempt when a roadside blast hit his convoy. One security official was killed in the attack.

Some believe that while Ali Jeyte’s presence will be missed, the war against al Shabaab will continue. They see it as a shared responsibility. They have faith that Ali Jeyte’s successor will continue the fight with the same spirit and dedication.

Harakat al Shabaab al-Mujahideen, also known as al Shabaab, is a Salafi-jihadist organization based in Somalia. Its influence has extended to other parts of East Africa, causing bloodshed in countries like Kenya and Uganda through suicide bombings and IED explosives.