On February 7th, 12 of Somalia’s security forces were killed, and two others wounded on Sunday following a powerful roadside explosion in the central state of Galmudug.
The attack occurred near the village of El Dhere, 28 kilometers west of Dhusamareb town, during a security operation, officials said. Dhusamareb is about 510 kilometers north of the Somali capital, Mogadishu.
The chief of the intelligence agency in the town of Dhusamareb, Major Abdirashid Abdinur Qoje, was among those killed, the state’s information minister, Ahmed Shire Falagle said.
“A vehicle carrying the officer, Qoje, and other soldiers accompanying him were hit by a landmine; the officer and some of the soldiers died, so it was a bomb,” Falagle said.
The al-Shabab militant group claimed responsibility. The attack marked the second confrontation between al-Shabab and Somali government forces outside Dhusamareb in the space of three days.
On February 5th, seven militants were killed by government forces after mortars were fired into the town as political leaders held a meeting on election management.
The attacks came a week after four al-Shabab suicide attackers killed five people at a hotel in Mogadishu.
The meeting in Dhusamareb collapsed in the early hours of February 6th, after President Mohamed Abdullahi Farmajo and Prime Minister Mohamed Hussein Roble failed to reach a deal on election management with the leaders of five federal member states.
Somalia’s opposition leaders said they no longer recognize President Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed after his term expired without a political agreement on a path towards elections to replace him.
Th nation was supposed to hold indirect elections before February 8, but the deadline was missed as the central government and federal states failed to break a deadlock over how to proceed with a vote.
A coalition of opposition candidates urged the president, better known by his nickname Farmaajo, to “respect the constitution” and ensure a peaceful transfer of power in the fragile country.
“Starting from 8th February 2021, the council of opposition candidates does not recognize Farmaajo as president,” they said in a statement. “The council will not accept any form of mandate extension through pressure.”
Essentially, Farmaajo and the leaders of the country’s federal states failed to break a deadlock over how to proceed with elections. Farmaajo accused the regional leaders over the impasse, but opposition groups said they would no longer recognize his authority following the expiration of his term on February 8th
“The president is solely responsible for the delay to the election,” Ilyas Ali, an opposition senator, told Al Jazeera. “He had four years to organize an election but he didn’t do that. Now, his term has ended. We don’t recognize him – and he only has himself to blame.”
Somalia is in a state of chaos, with clans priming to fight for control, in a country, in which democracy is attempting to crawl in. The elections have fallen through.
Anti-terrorist operations against al-Shabaab are evidently having little success. If there is no political solution to the crisis, soon, and the way isn’t opened to combat terrorism widely, then the chaos will simply deepen.
- On February 9, the Al-Shabaab group reportedly attacked government bases at Raaxoi area, north of Bal’ad town
- On February 7, 12 Somali soldiers including Abdirashid Abdinur Qoje, the head of intelligence of Dhusamareb town were killed in an IED attack near the town of Dhusamareb
- On February 7, 3 government soldiers reportedly wounded in an IED blast while guarding Turkish engineers, who are working on road construction project near Mogadishu
- On February 10, US aircraft reportedly targeted al-Shabab positions in the Sakow area
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