Somali president defiant as forces lose ground to al-Shabab

Dhusomareb (Caasimada Online) – A mere 24 hours after Somali government forces ceded territory to al-Shabab militants, Somali President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud delivered a resolute address on Tuesday.

The president emphatically stated that the ongoing military operations would not cease until “final victory” is secured over the extremist group.

“The fight will continue if one battlefield is lost or someone spreads misinformation. We will achieve the final victory that we seek,” Mohamud proclaimed.

His statements serve as a riposte to skeptics and critics alike, coming in the wake of a damaging al-Shabab attack on government soldiers in the village of Cowsweyne this past Saturday.

Questioning casualties and “historic victory”

Contradicting al-Shabab’s self-described “historic victory,” Mohamud refuted the group’s assertion that they had killed 178 soldiers in the Cowsweyne assault.

“The correct information about Cowsweyne has to be this conclusion—that the number of soldiers al-Shabab claimed to have killed is false,” he clarified.

According to Mohamud, al-Shabab suffered greater casualties—losing 190 fighters, whose remains were then buried in mass graves.

While such casualty figures have not been independently verified, the president insisted that al-Shabab is “weaker and smaller in number” than before.

Former Somali President Sharif Sheikh Ahmed weighed in on the recent events, calling for an investigation into the management of military operations at the Cowsweyne frontline.

Responding to this, President Mohamud pledged to rectify any “mistakes” and ensure accountability within the military.

“It’s time to reward heroes among the soldiers and to hold those abusing their responsibilities, committed treason, or undermining the army accountable,” Mohamud stated.

Strategic surrender and the future of the conflict

In another twist to the unfolding drama, the Somali government announced the surrender of a mid-level al-Shabab official, identified as Nur Abdullahi Maalinguur—also known as Nur Deeq.

The Minister of Interior, Federal Affairs and Reconciliation, Ahmed Moallim Fiqi, highlighted Deeq’s role as a commander in the Mudug region and his involvement in heavy battles there.

“This surrender means that al-Shabab morale is low, and a thorn has been removed from Mudug,” Fiqi posted on his Facebook page.

Al-Shabab has been attempting to establish an Islamic state in Somalia since 2006, often demanding extortions and other contributions from businesses and community members to sustain their operations, as per Somali intelligence agencies.

President Mohamud’s defiant remarks and a key surrender may shift the dynamics in the years-long conflict against al-Shabab. However, the path to “final victory” remains fraught with uncertainties.