The President of Somalia, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud told Somalians that they were either with his government and its drive against al-Shabaab or were against him aiding and abetting what he termed the terror siege against Somalia.
“There is no more sitting on the fence. No neutrality or objectivity when it came to the question of Shabaab. One is either actively engaged in the drive against al-Shabaab or with them. Go take up the gun. Do not lease him your house. Do not rent him your vehicle,”, President Bihi said addressing mourners at the funeral of Brigadier-General Farhan Mohamud Adan (Farhan Qaroole).
Along with a number of soldiers and at least one Television cameraman, General Qaroole, the Police Commissioner of Benadir region which hosts the state capital, was killed on Friday by a roadside mine targeting his convoy near Jowhar where he was leading an operation to ferret out Shabaab from area command centers.
This was not the first time the young general was targeted by Shabaab for his active engagement against the terror group. He escaped at least two major road mine hits against him and his convoys.
The first was on July 10, 2021. It occurred at the Benadir road junction of Mogadishu. At least 1 person died on the spot and 8 others sustained varying degrees of injury. The General escaped unscathed.
The second was on 9 May 2022 at the Elasha Biyaha near Afyoye some 25 kilometers west of the capital.
Qaroole was posthumously lauded as one of the brightest lights among Somalia’s security forces and a character al-Shabaab jotted down as a formidable adversary.
He was laid to rest Saturday in Mogadishu.
Local residents in the regions of Hirshabelle and Southwest (states) started a mass rebellion against Shabaab rule. the operation met with a fair degree of success. The government, ATMIS and US and Turkish air drones quickly jumped to claim their share of gains reached.
Success, as in the case of General Farhan, did not come without a heavy toll on lives and property. In Hiran, for instance, an outspoken traditional Chief, Elmi Gure. who led part of the operation, mobilizing clan militias (Ma’awisley) was killed.
The Islamic fighters could not be dislodged until now from large swathes of Somalia despite the tens of thousands of AU peacekeepers tirelessly trying to patch the beleaguered country together, keeping the fighters at bay.
As is happening currently in the Hiran – Hirshabelle state – case, the Somalia army and ATMIS troops would repeatedly leave territories liberated due to – mostly – logistical issues.
Only within the past two to three days, Shabaab recovered large areas previously taken from them in Moqokori of Hiran and outlying areas.
Only the republic of Somaliland remained free of Shabaab and Daesh incursions and influence due to, according to Mukhtar Roobow, a former Shabaab leader-turned-government minister, the collective vigilance of the Somaliland public and the cooperation of government and public on security matters.