Turmoil in Somalia: Army chief sacked, governor defiant

Mogadishu (Caasimada Online) – In a significant change at the heart of the military leadership of Somalia, the country has dismissed Army Chief Major-General Odawaa Yusuf Rageh.

The Somali Cabinet, led by Prime Minister Hamza Abdi Barre, made this decision during a meeting in Mogadishu, as relayed in an official statement.

Replacing Rageh is the newly appointed Chief of the Somali National Army, Brigadier-General Ibrahim Sheikh Muhiyadin Addow.

“The Council of Ministers has approved the proposal of the Ministry of Defence for the appointment of the Commander of the Somali National Army and appointed Brigadier-General Ibrahim Sheikh Muhyadin Addow,” stated the official release.

Before stepping into this role, Addow served as the Commander of the Presidential Guards and reportedly studied military logistics in Italy.

The underlying political tensions

The ousting of Rageh comes amid political tensions simmering in the central Hiran region of HirShabelle state.

Appointed in August 2020 by former President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, Rageh’s dismissal intersects with the ongoing fight against the Al-Qaeda-affiliated terror group, Al-Shabaab.

The Hiran region is the epicenter of this conflict, adding another layer of complexity to the political landscape.

Controversial dismissal leads to defiance

Adding to the upheaval, Ali Jeyte Osman, the governor of the Hiran regional administration, was recently dismissed by HirShabelle President Ali Gudlawe Hussien.

Osman, recognized as the face of the anti-terrorist fight in the province, has not taken his dismissal lightly.

In a defiant response to his termination, Osman announced at a press conference in Beledwayne, the capital city of the Hiran region, that he no longer recognizes the state.

Further stirring the political waters, he declared the formation of a new federal member state in the central province of Hiran.

With these concurrent political and military shifts in the Somali government, the next steps in the ongoing battle against Al-Shabaab remain to be seen.

As the dust settles, the effectiveness of these changes in combating terrorism in the region will be put to the test.