Somalia’s inner turmoil shadows Al-Shabab fight

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – Amid the arduous fight against Al-Shabab in central Somalia, a rift has emerged that could jeopardize the stability of the Somali federal government.

Former HirShabelle President Mohamed Abdi Waare, now serving as the presidential envoy for civilian protection and stabilization, has publicly aired his grievances with Defence Minister Abdikadir Mohamed Nur.

Waare alleges that rather than merely setting policies, Nur has taken to directly ordering troops, thus sidestepping the established chain of command.

In a recent interview, Waare described the Defense Minister’s actions as “overstepping” and “interfering” with both troops and their commanding officers.

He insists this has sown confusion among the ranks leading the assault against Al-Shabab and other factions.

Furthermore, Waare, who shares a close rapport with President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, made stark claims regarding Nur’s integrity.

He contends that the Defence Minister has been misinformed about presidential directives and provided undisclosed funds to SNA leaders. The silence from Nur’s camp following these accusations is palpable.

A wider lens on the conflict

The SNA’s involvement in HirShabelle and Galmadug reveals its commitment to eradicate Al-Shabab, further underlining the gravity of Waare’s accusations.

As troops continue to set up base, it’s clear their objective is to cleanse areas not addressed in the initial offensive against the militant group.

The tumult couldn’t have come at a more pivotal juncture. With President Mohamud often visiting frontline troops, recent government strategies against the insurgency are under increasing scrutiny.

Analysts raised eyebrows when, during Mohamud’s sojourn to Mahas in Hiiraan, Nur was notably missing.

This absence was further spotlighted when Waare, just a day prior, labeled the Defence Minister a “divisive character,” advising against his participation in the presidential entourage.

Concerns and future strategies

Waare’s criticisms aren’t limited to Nur. He questioned the actions of Minister of Internal Affairs Ahmed Fiqi, who shared photos of Al-Shabab defectors on social platforms, inciting public dissent.

The former leader doubts Galmudug State tribes’ allegiance to President Mohamud, pointing to their purported dishonesty in anti-Al-Shabab campaigns.

An area of contention is Cawsweyne, where many soldiers are believed to have lost their lives in a recent skirmish. Yet, official details remain scarce.

Amid these challenges, the SNA prepares to transition its focus to Jubaland and Southwest states, signifying the impending second phase of operations against the insurgents.

With its high-stakes combat and political drama, the unfolding scenario begs a crucial question: Can Somalia unite against a common enemy, or will internal rifts impede this imperative mission? Only time will tell.