“Three Clan Leaders Claimed by Lives in Perplexing and Bursting Central Somalia at Hands of Al-Shabaab”
April 23, 2023. Sunday.
Prepare for shocking news from Galgaduud. Al-Shabaab, the notorious extremist group affiliated with Al-Qaeda, launched a surprising, and extremely violent attack in central Somalia’s Masagaway area during the early hours of Saturday morning.
The militants targeted influential clan leaders, unleashing havoc and mayhem, ultimately resulting in the death of three of the leaders and multiple casualties. This tragic incident occurred just two days after a similar incursion in the Budbud area of Galgaduud by the same group.
General Ahmed Mohamed Teredisho, the Somali National Army (SNA) Commander for Sector 27 in the region, spoke extensively to the media about the disastrous and devastating attack.
“The Khawarij, who could not fight directly against the heroes of the National Army, resorted to bombing the innocent. However, the self-sacrificing forces of the local army thwarted the desires of the Khawarij.”
Unfortunately, the Somali National Army has been struggling in its battle against Al-Shabaab. They have allied with local clan militias to gain leverage in their fight against the extremist group, but progress has been limited.
Since August 2022, the Somali government has escalated its campaign against Al-Shabaab, primarily by forming alliances with local clan militias who share their growing discontent with the group. The collaboration between government forces and clan militias has led to substantial territorial gains, expelling Al-Shabaab militants from central Somalia and reestablishing government control in areas held by the group for over a decade.
Al-Shabaab has fought against Somalia’s internationally-backed government for over 15 years. The group has maintained a stronghold in rural areas, while Somali and partner forces have focused on consolidating power in urban locations.
In March, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud declared the second phase of the military offensive against Al-Shabaab. This phase aims to eliminate Al-Shabaab from remaining areas under its control, extending from central Somalia to southern regions – Southwest and Jubaland states.
During the offensive’s first phase, Somali security forces recaptured over 215 locations formerly controlled by Al-Shabaab, primarily in Hirshabelle and Galmudug states. However, the Somali security forces cannot maintain control of newly liberated areas and have yet to expel Al-Shabaab militants from both states fully. This is just one of the many ongoing challenges faced by the SNA and its allies that have had a hard time keeping it contained.
The federal government is now requesting more assistance from neighbouring states in Somalia under the African Union Transition Mission in Somalia (ATMIS) to support the second phase of operations. Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Kenya have reportedly pledged over 30,000 soldiers to support the offensive in the coming months.