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Somali President and Hawadle community leaders agree to re-start anti-al-Shabab operations

Wednesday September 6, 2023

Mahas (HOL) - Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud convened a meeting on Wednesday with politicians, traditional elders, and lawmakers from the Hawadle community in Mahas district.

The meeting was attended by Hirshabelle Vice President Yusuf Ahmed Hagar (Dabageed), former Hiiraan region governor Ali Jeyte Osman, lawmaker Abdullahi Mohamed Ali Sanbalolshe, Abdirisaaq Omar Mohamed, Minister of Petroleum and Mineral Resources, and other politicians. During the meeting, they agreed to intensify military operations against the militants in the Hiiraan region.

President Mohamud commended the community and politicians of the Hiiraan region for their significant role in combating al-Shabab and initiating an uprising in the central Somali region.

"Somalia has one enemy that obstructs the country's progress and development." He stressed the need to bridge differences of opinion that undermine national unity to achieve meaningful victories in the struggle to liberate the country.

Beledweyne, located approximately 300 kilometres north of Mogadishu, has recently become the center of local community mobilization against al-Shabab. Local officials, including the former governor of the Hiiraan region, Ali Jeyte Osman, led community forces who supported the Somali government forces, seizing dozens of villages from the militant group.

However, several months ago, Hirshabelle President Ali Hussein Guudlawe dismissed Ali Jeyte Osman, the governor of the Hiiraan region, and appointed Abdullahi Ahmed Maalin Sufurow as his replacement. Governor Sufurow has not officially assumed office as Jeyte refuses to step down, and local residents have reportedly elected him as the interim President of Hiiraan State, an administration not recognized by the Federal government.

Jeyte has been at odds with the leadership of the Hirshabelle administration over a proposal to centralize tax collection from the Hiiraan region. He firmly believed that such centralization would hinder ongoing efforts against al-Shabab by reallocating crucial resources away from the fight against the militant group.