Unidentified gunmen have murdered a well-known Somali traditional elder in the central Somali town of Beledweyne Monday, the second elder to be killed in the town in the past two days.
Hassan Aden Ibrahim was shot dead near his home in the town after two armed men approached him as he walked towards his home in Bundoweyn neighbourhood in Beledweyn, according to witnesses who spoke to HOL.
A well-respected young traditional elder, Mr. Ibrahim who was the brother of the town’s commissioner Omar Aden Ibrahim has long been advocating for peace and equality in the region. No group has immediately claimed the responsibility for the murder, however, it comes as the Al-Qaeda linked Al-Shabab group fighting in Somalia stepped up attacks across the country during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.
His murder comes one day after unidentified gunmen have shot dead another traditional elder Mumin Barre in the town on Sunday, highlighting challenges and security threats facing traditional elders who have long been the face of the country’s clans.
Beledweyne, an agricultural strategic town that straddles between central Somalia and the neighboring Ethiopia has seen a relative stability since the African Union forces kicked militants out of the town, however, militants have since carried out deadly attacks including bombings and assassinations in the town.
The latest murder has sent shockwaves across Somalia, as the horn of Africa nation which has a tradition of reverring traditional elders during the decades old clan warfare now is worried about the very dangerous climate for elders in Somalia.