Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – The Somali cabinet made a significant change in leadership within the country’s police force on Thursday, appointing General Sulub Ahmed Firin as the new police commissioner, replacing the long-serving chief General Abdi Hassan Hijar.
General Hijar, who hails from Puntland’s Sool region, has held the position since August 2019. The new chief, General Firin, is from Jubaland.
The council’s appointment came following a recommendation from the Ministry of Internal Security to address the ongoing security challenges in Mogadishu.
The replacement of the police chief comes as the security in the capital Mogadishu worsened over the past few weeks. Five civilians died when al-Shabab militants detonated a bomb and stormed the building where the mayor’s office is located.
The security forces killed six members of the militants Al-Shabab who carried out the attack after six hours of a siege.
Since the government led by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud launched a campaign against al-Shabab in August, the group has increased its attacks as a demonstration of its strength.
The mayor’s office is located in a heavily guarded area of Mogadishu. Al-Shabab claimed in an official statement that its bombers attacked the building, and then its fighters entered the building after killing the guards.
The group, which has been fighting the government since 2006 with the goal of enforcing its own interpretation of Islamic law, frequently conducts bombings and armed assaults throughout the country.
The new commander is tasked with tackling the threat posed by Al-Shabab, which has been facing increased pressure and recently carried out two attacks in the capital – one targeting the mayor’s office and another involving a mortar attack near the Presidential Palace.